OCBC aims to hook young professionals with higher interest on deposits

Rock-bottom interest rates on bank deposits here are a common grouse with savers - and one that OCBC is hoping to offer a solution to.

It is offering what it touts as "market-beating" interest rates of up to 3.05 per cent for customers who increase their transactions with the bank.

Its banking account "OCBC 360" now pays higher interest rates if the client directs his monthly salary of at least $2,000 into the account. Rates go higher still if the client uses the account to pay for at least three bills per month.

Those who have OCBC credit cards and spend $400 per month will also earn higher interest rates on the account.

For each of the three criteria fulfilled, the customer will get a 1 per cent bonus interest rate, on top of the 0.05 per cent interest rate he will get for the first $50,000 put into the account.

The average interest rates offered by banks on saving deposits this year has stayed unchanged for the first three months at 0.12 per cent, based on figures compiled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The account was first launched in July last year and has attracted 16,000 customers so far.

Since it unveiled this enhanced version of the account last Wednesday, 5,000 consumers have signed up for it, with some 30 per cent being customers new to the bank.

Previously, an account holder would get 1.28 per cent on their balances if they performed two Internet banking transactions.

OCBC head of group wealth management Lim Wyson said at a briefing on Wednesday that the account is unique as it rewards a consumer for the type of transactions made, instead of the amount of cash flowing through the account.

He added that the account is targeted at young professionals starting out in the workforce who are not always cash-rich.

"It's part and parcel of how we want to continuously engage more with the younger segment."