StanChart targets older clients with new offering

StanChart has almost one million customers in Singapore, with about 20 per cent of them aged 55 and older. StanChart CEO Judy Hsu said it wants to be seen in the market as the bank that has a clear position in servicing this client segment.
StanChart has almost one million customers in Singapore, with about 20 per cent of them aged 55 and older. StanChart CEO Judy Hsu said it wants to be seen in the market as the bank that has a clear position in servicing this client segment.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Standard Chartered Bank is chasing the silver dollar in Singapore, with a new bank offering that is targeted only at those aged 55 and older.

Dubbed the MyWay programme, it comes with a savings account with interest rates of up to 1.28 per cent. Applications open on Monday.

StanChart Singapore chief executive Judy Hsu told a press briefing earlier this week that after a strategic review of its retail banking business here last year, the bank homed in on certain segments.

"You think about where the population trend is going in Singapore, and most of those above 55 are more affluent and well-educated. Clearly, their needs are slightly different compared with before," she said.

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Statistics show that one in four will be a senior citizen by 2030, up from one in eight now.

The bank spoke to hundreds of customers and non-customers aged 55 and older, and Ms Hsu said it boils down to health, giving back to society, and retirement needs.

"Most of the customers are looking at an attractive proposition around having a good savings account," she said. "Singaporeans are practical. They want an account that is flexible, with a more attractive yield, so they don't have to shift their money around and shop for the best rates."

In comes StanChart's new step- up savings account.

A deposit that is more than $50,000 and up to $1 million earns 1.08 per cent, and the next deposit of more than $1 million - capped at $5 million - earns 1.28 per cent.

The top effective interest rate is 1.23 per cent for deposits of $5 million. Married couples can sign up for a joint account, but at least one person must be 55 and older.

If the average daily balance falls below $50,000 for any particular month, a fee of $10 per month applies. The fee, however, is waived for the bank's priority and private-banking customers.

Customers also get perks such as a dedicated medical concierge by Parkway Hospitals, and complimentary membership to a virtual retirement village.

StanChart has almost one million customers here, with about 20 per cent of them aged 55 and older and belonging to a more affluent group.

Said Ms Hsu: "This is a long-term strategy. We want to be seen in the market as the bank that has a clear position in servicing this client segment.

"We want to offer a wealth-management continuum to our clients. At the end of the day, we still need to attract the younger generation as a pipeline for the future, but it is a different investment. That is still an important group of clients, but given our competitive advantage and our network, we feel we can do a great job in supporting this segment. It presents a great opportunity that is untapped at this time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'StanChart targets older clients with new offering'. Print Edition | Subscribe