Bank of Singapore has just added to the long list of existing banks that have decided to expand or locate in Dubai. They decided to add some 25 relationship managers to its Dubai branch by 2020 in a bid to win business from non-resident Indians and wealthy Middle East clients.
Bank of Singapore’s assets under management have swelled around 30 per cent in Dubai since launching there around a year ago. The bank expects its Dubai AuM figure to jump more than 20 per cent this year, according to Vikram Malhotra, the firm’s global market head for South Asia and the Middle East.
“The non-resident Indian business is doing well for us, but there are opportunities to expand more in the GCC market,” he said, referring to the six countries which comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council. “We are one of the larger players in the region and our aspiration is to be in the top three within all our markets. We are well placed to achieve that.”
The bank has nearly 50 relationship managers in Dubai, up by around a 40 per cent since 2016, and is now eyeing further growth. In Singapore and Hong Kong, the bank has around 45 relationship managers under his care, he said.
In Singapore and Hong Kong, the private banking arm of OCBC, Singapore’s second-largest lender, has more than 350 relationship managers. Bank of Singapore’s AuM stood at $95 billion as of September 2017, up 53 per cent from a year earlier.
Many of its core clients in the region are non-resident Indians who have lived in the Middle East and Africa for decades, in some cases. It also has a smaller number of Middle Eastern clients, including wealthy families.