Singapore’s second largest bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), has officially applied the latest artificial intelligence-led technology to its wealth-management operations, as the lender tries to gain an edge over rivals in the banking sector.
Through a partnership with local startup WeInvest, OCBC will run its newly-launched robo-adviser service through its fintech and innovation unit ‘The Open Vault’.
For retail investors, the investment threshold for the new service has been set at S$3500, which is low compared to the usual limits of traditional banking wealth management.
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OCBC will begin offering the automated online investment advice across its 51 branches in Singapore. The product is a cheaper option for customers that want in-depth financial advice on topics such as tax and inheritance planning. Specifically, it costs 1.5 percent annually for assets under management of up to S$50,000, dropping to one percent for portfolios above the low water mark.
OCBC has already tested the waters by using robo advisers in a bid to improve the bank’s financial results. The pilot program was launched last year at a few OCBC bank branches.
With banks in the Singapore still largely playing catch-up with digital technology, OCBC is claiming to be the first among the nation’s big lenders to unlock the potential of robo-advisers, which are being adopted rapidly by the wealth management industry worldwide.
Commenting on the news, OCBC Bank’s head of e-business Singapore, Aditya Gupta, said: “With OCBC RoboInvest, we are empowering our customers to get started on their investment journeys and grow their wealth in a simple, smart and self-directed way. We are certain that our customers will find this new digital investment platform very attractive and that it will radically transform how customers engage with their investments.”