SINGAPORE – OCBC Bank will resume face-to-face wealth advisory services by appointment only for bancassurance, funds, structured investments and bonds at 27 branches and nine OCBC Premier Banking Centres.
The bank will also reopen three branches – at Bukit Batok, Sun Plaza and White Sands – as well as one Premier Banking Centre at Parkway Parade on Thursday to support a growing number of customers visiting the branches in the heartlands, including at Choa Chu Kang, Tampines and Jurong East, and at Northpoint City, it said in an announcement on Thursday (June 11).
These add to the 24 OCBC branches that had remained open during Singapore’s eight-week partial lockdown, with at least one branch open in the proximity of every neighbourhood town centre. Currently, these branches offer only essential banking services. Physical wealth advisory and sales have not been allowed.
The footfall at branches has increased by more than 20 per cent on average since Singapore started to ease out of its “circuit breaker” on June 2, said the bank’s head of consumer financial services Sunny Quek.
“The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority. While all safe distancing measures are implemented in our branches, it can get crowded at times and we continue to encourage our customers to use our digital banking solutions and virtual wealth advisory service,” he added.
Financial institutions providing advice on banking, insurance and investment products, as well as private banks offering wealth management advice, will be permitted to have in-person meetings with their customers at their premises only with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s approval. These permissions are subject to additional safe management measures.
OCBC Bank, for instance, will require employees to don face shields and face masks while advising customers face-to-face. The bank will also make it compulsory for customers to download and use contact tracing app TraceTogether, and have demarcated one-metre queue markings at its branches.
Other banks are also reopening more branches.
United Overseas Bank (UOB) this week reopened nine more, bringing the total number of branches operating to 47. Fourteen branches remain closed. Standard Chartered Bank has reopened four more since June 2. Twelve of its 16 branches are now open.
DBS Bank said last week it may gradually reopen additional branches. Currently, 28 branches are open while 29 are closed.