DBS, OCBC tap China’s Wealth Management Connect scheme to expand in Greater Bay Area

OCBC said the partnership will see both banks provide quality and diversified financial services to their Greater Bay Area customers.
OCBC said the partnership will see both banks provide quality and diversified financial services to their Greater Bay Area customers.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - DBS and OCBC on Tuesday separately announced strategic bank partnerships in China under the country’s new Wealth Management Connect scheme, to grow their franchises in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). 

This comes as the Chinese and Hong Kong regulators had in September announced the roll-out of a cross-boundary scheme to allow two-way purchase of approved wealth-management products across China’s GBA.

Under the scheme, residents in the 9 mainland China cities in the GBA, such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, can purchase wealth-management products offered by providers in Hong Kong and Macau (south-bound scheme), while those in Hong Kong and Macau can buy products by providers based in mainland China cities (north-bound scheme).

In a statement, DBS said its Hong Kong franchise has partnered with the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) to provide GBA customers access to diversified investment products and solutions, and digital-banking capabilities.

DBS Hong Kong is the group’s largest franchise outside of Singapore, and PSBC is one of the largest state-owned banks in China targeting sannong customers (agriculture, rural areas and farmers), urban and rural residents, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Sebastian Paredes, chief executive of DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said: “This strategic partnership creates mutually beneficial collaboration between PSBC and DBS Bank (Hong Kong). At the same time, it allows us to grow our GBA franchise, especially through PSBC’s extensive network in Guangdong.”

OCBC’s Hong Kong subsidiary, OCBC Wing Hang Bank, has tied up with China’s Ping An Bank to provide two-way wealth-management services in the GBA.

In a statement, OCBC said that under the partnership between OCBC Wing Hang and Ping An, both banks will provide quality and diversified financial services to their GBA customers.

Greater China is the second-largest market for OCBC after Singapore, while Ping An is among the top banks in China with a network of more than 300 branches in the GBA and over 107 million retail customers.

Eligible Ping An customers can open investment accounts with OCBC Wing Hang and purchase qualified wealth-management products covering global, the Asia-Pacific, mainland China and US markets. Likewise, eligible OCBC Wing Hang customers can do the same with Ping An to purchase qualified wealth-management products from mainland China.

“The Wealth Management Connect scheme will be a game-changer; it will open up a whole new segment of customers for us,” said Helen Wong, OCBC group chief executive officer.

The scheme will facilitate up to 300 billion yuan (S$63 billion) in total investment flows and generate about 3.2 billion yuan in annual wealth fees for banks. It is being seen as a test-bed for the gradual relaxation of China’s tight capital controls and could eventually be extended to the whole of China.

“Our partnership with Ping An, combined with our strong wealth management capabilities regionally, as well as our significant branch presence in the GBA, enables us to offer China customers a wealth of diversified investment opportunities through our twin hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong,” said Wong.

The GBA is a cluster of 11 high-growth cities in southern China which includes Hong Kong and Macau. It is also the 12th largest economic entity in the world.

Ivy Au-Yeung, OCBC Wing Hang chief executive, said: “This partnership not only further expands customers’ investment channels but also advances financial cooperation between Hong Kong, Macau and China. This in turn will fuel business growth for both banks.”