Despite Singapore’s relatively stable economic and political environment, Singapore banks still have to navigate their operation through economic disruptions and changing demands in the COVID-19 pandemic. Banks are not only implementing new work arrangements but also have to deal with their vulnerability to certain areas which have been critically undermined by the crisis.
According to the Singapore Business Review’s annual bank rankings for 2020, it reports some outstanding changes amongst the top banks in terms of employee numbers. In particular, DBS is ranked in the top list when it retained over 12,000 employees in April this year. OCBC is the second place with 10,032 employees. Although UOB fell one spot to third place, it still maintained more than 9,000 employees.
Although banks benefit from a stable economic and political environment, they still have to navigate a rough operating environment brought about by the pandemic. In particular, DBS, UOB, and OCBC are three major banks in Singapore are in danger of asset quality and profitability losses due to their display to a declining playing field, according to a Fitch Ratings commentary. While the cracks may start to show in 2021, the forecasted impaired-loan proportion is around 2.5%, higher than the current 1.5%.
The crisis has instilled an urgent need for banks to be proactive and agile in times of unforeseen circumstances through Digitization as follows:
In the future, CIMB will take on a “customer-obsessed, high-performing, have integrity” attitude. Moreover, the bank will follow customer needs and will hasten the development of their digital initiatives on top of upskilling their employees and being an authoritative voice in the sector.
Besides, Maybank will gradually scale up operations in addition to reopening some branches and the resumption of select wealth and investment services as well as backend support. Furthermore, the bank is also willing to decentralize ít operations through redesigning offices and allowing more staff to work outside.
In summary, the promotion of cashless payment methods by Singapore banks helps the banks meet the needs of an increasingly diverse customer including residents as well as Singapore business registration. On that basis, it helps the banks increase revenue, enhances reputation, and builds trust with customers.
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