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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Tony Chua, Singapore

CIMB Bank Singapore opens new Orchard Branch

Lender's deposit base up 222%, home loans surpassed S$1bln, 61,500 credit cards issued in first year.

CIMB Bank Singapore (“CIMB Bank”) on Monday officially opened its new Orchard Branch at Knightsbridge, Orchard Road to commemorate its strong performance in its inaugural year of retail banking in Singapore.

Present at the opening were Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group and Mr Mak Lye Mun, Country Head of CIMB Group Singapore and CEO of CIMB Bank Singapore, who together provided an update of the significant progress CIMB Bank has made in Singapore over the past 12 months. It is this progress and validation of CIMB Bank’s ability to deliver meaningful products and services to a targeted client base which has fuelled its confidence to open a premier banking location right in the heart of Orchard Road, according to a CIMB Bank report.

“We are very pleased with the progress of our Singaporean retail franchise since we launched it almost exactly a year ago. We see this as validation of our direct banking model and the value that we are able to deliver to our customers. Having proven ourselves, we felt the time was right to elevate our visibility with a strategic retail front location in Singapore’s famed shopping district,” Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group remarked.

Reflecting back over the last year, Lye Mun had this to say: “What a year it has been! I am proud to say we have managed to devise unique customer-centric value propositions that have surprised many. To give an example, we have weaved our cost savings from a two-branch constraint into our products and services - we have now earned ourselves the reputation of offering one of the highest deposits rates in town. Unlike most banks that reward only new relationships and fresh funds, we value and reward our existing customers for their banking relationships with us.”

With a strong line-up of products focused on delivering superior relative value, it was no surprise that CIMB Bank Singapore celebrated a year of stellar performance. Below are some highlights of the past 12 months:

  • Deposits base more than doubled from S$590 million in September 2009 to S$1.9 billion in September 2010 – an increase of over 222%.
  • Home loans broke through the S$1 billion mark since inception.
  • 61,500 brand new credit cards issued in under a year.
  • CIMB Bank staff strengthened to more than 500 in September 2009, growing by 60% from 327 personnel in September 2009.

“Looking ahead, CIMB Bank Singapore does not intend to stay still. We aim to continue challenging the status quo and bringing improved value propositions to our customers,” added Lye Mun. CIMB Bank launched its Regional Preferred Banking recently, which gives the bank’s priority banking customers the best in regional cross-border convenience, personalised services, banking solutions, and regional lifestyle benefits. Ushering in this change, CIMB Bank is also unveiling a brand new look and feel for the Preferred brand across its main markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

Nazir elaborated that CIMB Preferred’s regional proposition will be one of CIMB Bank’s key focuses in Singapore, going forward. This is because, as a regional franchise with the largest retail network of 1,150 branches across Southeast Asia, CIMB Bank is not confined by geographical boundaries, and is able to offer compelling cross-border propositions for the affluent Singapore market.

“While our customer profile in Singapore currently consists mainly of locals, we have also witnessed a growing number of affluent and upper mass affluent customers from around the region. We expect this group of regional customers to grow to about 30% of our customer base in Singapore. CIMB Preferred will cater to this growing number of priority banking customers from across the region who conduct banking activities in Singapore, and to the jet-setting lifestyles of our local Preferred customers. CIMB Preferred customers will not only be recognised as "Preferred” in their home country, but also across CIMB's regional network. We want our customers to have the same experience they are accustomed to whether they are in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand and the comfort that they are banking with a leading Southeast Asian franchise,” Nazir added.

To address the growing needs of its customers across the region, CIMB Bank has also been aggressively enhancing its ATM services. Recently, the bank announced the full integration of its regional ATM network of more than 3,750 ATMs, allowing customers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand to enjoy seamless cross-border ATM transactions when traveling between these countries. CIMB Bank’s customers can now withdraw money from any CIMB Bank, CIMB Niaga and CIMB Thai ATM machine for free, in the respective country’s currency.

“As we look forward to another year of continued progress and breakthrough in the retail banking sector in Singapore, CIMB Bank would like to express its sincere thanks to its customers for their valued support during the past year,” Lye Mun concluded.

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