OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd intends to ride on the growth wave of Penang’s services sector via the expansion of its premier banking offerings. Its chief executive officer Ong Eng Bin said while the manufacturing sector remains the state’s economic backbone, the bank had noted the emergence of sectors such as food and beverage, along with shared services outsourcing and business processing outsourcing centres, which are steadily growing.
“We are hoping to work with the Penang government in supporting these industries and would like to be part of the growth, notably with Singapore companies which are in discussion with the state authorities,” he told reporters at the launch of its Premier BankingCentre, here, on Saturday. Also present were OCBC Bank chairman Datuk Ooi Sang Kuang, head of consumer financial services and group wealth management Lim Wyson and its head of branch distribution and premier banking Anne Leh.
OCBC Bank has invested RM5 million to quadruple the size of its Premier Banking Centre at its Penang branch in Lebuh Pantai, making it the largest in the OCBC Bank network nationwide. OCBC Bank is among the largest foreign banks operating in Malaysia with a network of 31 conventional and 10 Islamic banking branches throughout the country. In Penang, it has three branches — in Lebuh Pantai, Bukit Mertajam and Batu Maung.
“We are pleased that our Penang branches have been experiencing growth rates of almost 40 per cent in assets under management (AUM) for premier banking over the twelve-month period ending June 2014. “In addition, our investment business grew by over 20 per cent during the same period, signifying growing confidence in our premier banking offerings. Another telling statistic is that our premier banking customer base increased by 20 per cent during the same period.
“The numbers tell us that the relationship between us and the community is growing stronger and stronger due to the emphasis we continue to place on service excellence from every conceivable perspective,” Ong said. He said the newly-launched 8,000 sq ft centre will be used to bring lifestyle events to OCBC’s customers alongside several facilities and services that were previously unavailable, such as a comfortable private customer discussion area, ample parking with valet services, live telecast video conferencing facilities and more dedicated safe deposit boxes.
“The heritage and community-centred celebration is in line with the bank’s efforts to upgrade its decades-old building while retaining its cherished heritage as one of the landmarks along Lebuh Pantai. “The OCBC Bank heritage in Malaysia can be traced back almost a century now, with our Penang branch having been in existence since 1917 as part of the then Ho Hong Bank. This bank later merged with Overseas Chinese Bank and Chinese Commercial Bank to give birth to OCBC Bank in 1932,” Ong added.