SINGAPORE - UOB and its commercial banking clients raised more than $500,000 through the bank's annual Chinese New Year charity fund-raiser this year, it said on Monday (Feb 8).
The money raised will be channelled towards arts, children and education programmes in Singapore.
More than $250,000 was contributed by over 20 clients who participated in a series of bamboo art workshops, and matched dollar for dollar by the bank up to $250,000.
The bank said bamboo, a resilient and robust plant native to Asia, was chosen as it symbolises "the strength and cohesiveness of local communities in facing and overcoming Covid-19 challenges together".
The bank's clients learnt about traditional bamboo art and its use in furniture-making, and also carved and painted auspicious Chinese greetings on bamboo panels.
Wee Hur Holdings chairman Goh Yeow Lian was among the clients who attended the workshop.
He said: "The inability to hold physical fund-raisers will not stop us from contributing back to the community, especially towards those who are more vulnerable.
"During the session, I was again reminded of our community's committed efforts in facing the pandemic with resilience and unity. I am glad that UOB has presented an opportunity for us to do good this Lunar New Year in a safe, sustainable and meaningful way."
More than half of the $500,000 sum will go towards The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund to support children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds with school-related expenses.
UOB said the funds will enable children and youth to discover and nurture their talent in art as well as to help them through school.
The rest of the funds will go towards supporting education and local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) innovation under the UOB-Singapore Management University Asian Enterprise Institute.
The bank said the financial support will provide enhanced learning for the institute's students and help local SMEs to strengthen their resiliency and capabilities as they navigate challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic.