Course to prepare UOB staff for digital future

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has started a learning programme to prepare its 26,000 staff for a digital future amid rapid change in the financial services sector.

The 12-week course known as "Better U" focuses on five core competences. It aims to help staff develop skills to solve complex problems, and acquire skills in the fields of digital innovation, human-centred design and data.

UOB expects that at least 70 per cent of all its employees globally will have completed the course by the end of next year.

Most modules have been designed as games or interactive team-based formats for a more engaging learning experience, and almost all are in a digital format so that employees can learn at their own convenience.

After completing the foundation course, staff can pursue specialised learning tracks or educational opportunities that are aligned with their capabilities and interests. They can also apply for financial support to advance their education up to a master's degree if they meet the bank's criteria.

The Better U programme is said to be the first such initiative that covers soft skills as well as digital and data capabilities to receive accreditation by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF).

Employees will be awarded a UOB-IBF certificate of achievement on completion of the foundation course.

Mr Dean Tong, head of UOB's human resources division, said: "We designed the Better U programme to nurture a mindset that is curious and open to new avenues of personal and professional growth."


United Overseas Bank's head of group human resources Dean Tong (left) and deputy chairman and chief executive officer Wee Ee Cheong at the launch of the Better U programme on Tuesday. The 12-week course aims to help staff develop skills to solve complex problems, and acquire skills in digital innovation, human-centred design and data. PHOTO: UOB

This initiative comes as the global banking industry is undergoing a sea change. An estimated 60,000 jobs have been shed in banks worldwide this year as lenders face intense competition among themselves and with fintech start-ups in a low interest rate environment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2019, with the headline 'Course to prepare UOB staff for digital future'. Print Edition | Subscribe