DBS' Wealth Chat service launched on WhatsApp, WeChat

DBS Group Holdings, South-east Asia's biggest bank, unveiled a service that will allow wealthy clients to interact with their relationship managers on WeChat and WhatsApp.

The Singapore-based lender will begin registering interested clients for the service known as Wealth Chat, DBS said yesterday in a statement.

It will initially provide content such as investment reports and research insights, with services such as trade placement to be added progressively next year, the bank said.

Banks around the world have been grappling with the issue of communicating with clients using mobile messaging platforms because they can allow employees to circumvent officially monitored phone and e-mail systems.

A former Jefferies Group banker was fined in Britain last year for sharing confidential information on WhatsApp.

DBS said chat records between its relationship managers and clients will be archived and the service will meet compliance standards.

"Our aim is to provide banking services that are embedded in our customers' everyday lives, while maintaining client privacy and keeping to our rigorous security requirements," said Ms Tan Su Shan, DBS' group head of consumer banking and wealth management. "With Wealth Chat, we can now meet the communication needs of our clients and regulatory requirements."

DBS developed Wealth Chat in partnership with regulatory technology start-up FinChat.

WeChat, which the bank said has close to a billion users, is owned by Tencent Holdings, while more than 1.5 billion people use Facebook's WhatsApp.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2018, with the headline 'DBS' Wealth Chat service launched on WhatsApp, WeChat'. Print Edition | Subscribe