At UOB, we build on our heritage and values to ensure that we act in the best interests of our customers. Our people help our customers meet their business and financial goals by offering the most appropriate solutions and services, based on our expertise and understanding of what matters to them. We wrap our use of technology with the human touch to ensure our customers’ needs are met efficiently, professionally and personally.
We attend to our customers’ needs and keep their interests at the heart of all that we do.
Our Customer Commitments
In serving our customers, we uphold four customer commitments built on our values of being Honourable, Enterprising, United and Committed.
Treat You Fairly
We maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in all our dealings with our customers. We have uncompromising discipline, clarity and courage to do what is right for them and to make every decision in their best interest.
Provide You with the Right Solution
We draw on our experience, insight and entrepreneurial spirit to provide our customers with solutions that help them achieve their financial goals and aspirations, and manage their daily and future requirements, however simple or complex.
Know You Personally
We learn our customers’ preferences and know what matters to them with every interaction. By understanding them better, we anticipate our customers’ needs and offer them the most relevant financial solutions.
Be There When It Matters
We always stand by our customers and this is enabled by our long-term business approach, strength and stability.
Ensuring a Culture of Fair Dealing
We ensure that integrity, trust and respect – core elements of Fair Dealing – are embedded in all aspects of our relationship with our customers. This can be seen from how we structure our products and services, in our marketing and sales strategies, to our after-sales care.
We ensure Fair Dealing remains central to our corporate culture by:
- offering products and services that are suitable for our customers;
- ensuring the competency of our colleagues in providing quality advice and appropriate recommendations;
- providing clear, relevant and timely information so that our customers can make informed financial decisions; and
- dealing with feedback in an independent, effective and prompt manner.
Our Fair Dealing Guidelines Committee is responsible for championing Fair Dealing across the Group. Some of its key responsibilities include:
- assisting the Board and the Senior Management to oversee the delivery of Fair Dealing outcomes to our customers;
- reviewing and approving action plans, guidelines, processes and practices in relation to achieving Fair Dealing outcomes; and
- establishing a management information framework to measure and to monitor achievements of Fair Dealing outcomes.
Our Product Sales Committee reviews and approves investment products and the relevant governance frameworks to ensure that UOB offers products and services that are suitable for our targeted customer segments.
To ensure that our people are aware of the importance of Fair Dealing, all employees are required to complete a compulsory e-learning module every year. We also run awareness campaigns on our intranet throughout the year to reinforce our people’s understanding of the importance of Fair Dealing.
We conduct surveys regularly across all customer segments to gather feedback, which is reviewed by various business and support units and at our annual Fair Dealing workshops. This enables us to identify proactively the areas to improve our processes and service standards and to enhance the customer experience.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Retention
In 2016, we received more than 15,500 compliments from our customers, a 21 per cent increase over 2015. We also use the Net Promoter Score programme to measure customer satisfaction and retention across a number of business and product groups. Of the retail customers who have purchased investment and insurance products, 51 per cent stated they would recommend UOB to their friends and family in 2016 compared with 31 per cent the year before.
Resolving Customer Concerns Effectively
We take customer complaints seriously and have robust procedures to address them. We have guidelines that govern the end-to-end complaint investigation and resolution process and an independent review panel to review complaints effectively. In 2016, we exceeded our target of resolving 90 per cent of complaints within five business days.
In addition, through our Group-wide training programme, The Art of Service Recovery, we equip our employees with the necessary skills to attend to customer complaints, to resolve issues and to turn difficult situations around.
We are committed to responsible financing to support sustainable development and to mitigate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our lending. UOB’s Group Corporate Credit Policy includes a Responsible Financing Policy and guidelines with clear roles and responsibilities for due diligence. Group Credit is responsible for ensuring that all ESG-related risks are adequately addressed.
Our Responsible Financing Policy applies to all of the Bank’s direct borrowers within Group Wholesale Banking. Companies subject to enhanced due diligence with sector specific guidance are within the following eight defined high-risk industries:
- Metals and Mining
- Waste Management
The Responsible Financing Policy, supported by a comprehensive set of guidelines, requires our borrowers to comply with local ESG regulations in the respective countries in which they operate. The borrowers are also recommended to follow established industry standards and to obtain relevant certifications.
The policy also prohibits our financing of companies:
- with operations in UNESCO World Heritage Sites, RAMSAR Wetlands, forests of high conservation value or sites with critical natural habitat;
- without measures in place to manage or to mitigate the risk of air, soil and water pollution;
- involved in the exploitation of labour, including forced labour and child labour;
- that violate the rights of local communities;
- involved in land clearance by burning; and
- involved in animal cruelty and the trade of endangered species as defined by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Protecting Customer Data and Privacy
Personal data protection and customer privacy are top priorities at UOB, as we believe that they are crucial to maintaining customers’ trust. Aligned and complying with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) of Singapore, our Personal Data Protection Policy outlines how the Group ensures the confidentiality and security of our customers’ personal data. We also conduct regular tests to assess and to ensure the security of our systems.
We respect our customers’ marketing preferences and have policies and processes in place to record their consent to receive telemarketing calls and to allow hassle-free withdrawal of such consent.
Information on our privacy and data protection notices and details of our Data Protection Officer are available on our website. Our UOB Privacy Notice is also available at all branches in Singapore.
Making Banking Safe and Simple Through the Use of Technology
We continue to invest in technology to enhance our product and service capabilities that fit our customers’ fast-changing lifestyles and business needs. In 2015, we revamped our internet banking platforms and public websites to offer a better and more consistent customer experience. In 2016, we deepened our online engagement with our customers through social media.
In addition to our investments in mobility, payments, connectivity and data initiatives, we have been increasing our information technology (IT)-related spend to address regulatory changes and cyber security threats. Altogether we have invested nearly $700 million in IT in the last three years to help ensure a safe and delightful banking experience for our customers.
UOB Mighty and UOB Business Mobile Apps
Smartphones are changing the way people connect with their financial institution. The UOB Mighty mobile app, which was launched in 2015, enables our retail customers to conduct their most frequent banking transactions – paying bills and transferring funds – in a few easy steps. We also designed the dining feature on the app around our customers’ lifestyle preferences to help customers select and make bookings at recommended restaurants.
In 2016, we rolled out more services on the UOB Mighty app – from instant credit card issuance (the first in the world) to contactless ATM cash withdrawals (the first in Southeast Asia), to making the smartphone a security token (the first in Singapore). All were aimed at making banking simpler, faster and more secure for our customers.
More information on UOB Mighty can be found in the Group Retail section of this report.
For small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the UOB Business mobile app offers a convenient way to access financial information including foreign exchange rates and UOB’s economic and market research reports. The app also provides information on UOB’s banking products and services, such as loans, deposits, trade finance and cash management solutions. The app is currently available to our SME customers in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
More information on UOB Business can be found in the Group Retail section of this report.
UOB Business Internet Banking Plus (BIBPlus) is our global electronic banking platform that helps our corporate clients manage cash and trade transactions more efficiently. We also offer BIBPlus Mobile that enables our clients to manage their banking needs on-the-go in a secure and convenient manner.
BizSmart is an integrated business solution based on cloud-based technology that enables small businesses in Singapore, especially those in the retail industry, to handle their administrative processes such as payroll, accounting, inventory and resourcing online and in an automated manner.
It is also the first solution in Singapore that gives small businesses a direct feed from their operating accounts with UOB, enabling them to reconcile with their bank statement, transactions such as purchase orders to suppliers and daily takings, in one simple click, on a daily basis.
More information on BizSmart can be found in the Group Retail section of this report.
Through digital solutions such as BizSmart, we help our customers manage their day-to-day banking needs.
Supporting Businesses Across All Stages of Growth
We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. This is why we have strengthened our strategic alliances with alternative financing providers and train our commercial bankers across our network to provide clients with the most up-to-date information on alternative funding options.
Through The FinLab, a joint venture between UOB and SGInnovate, we help to accelerate the growth of FinTech startups in Asia. These startups focus on developing solutions in areas ranging from payments, wealth management, data analytics and blockchain to banking solutions for SMEs. The FinLab’s inaugural 12-week accelerator programme in 2016 saw the participation of eight startups, and mentors including management from UOB helped them to refine their business solutions through rigorous assessment and practical application.
By collaborating with FinTechs, we can also harness their creative strengths for our digital transformation. For example, we acquired one of the participating FinTech startups, CardUp, as a merchant to test its business model of enabling consumers to make payments by credit card especially where the recipient does not generally accept payment by plastic. This means that through CardUp, a tenant would be able to pay their rent to their landlord by credit card and earn reward points, air miles or rebates.
The FinTech startups that graduated from The FinLab’s accelerator programme presented their ideas at an investor showcase held at the National Gallery Singapore.
OurCrowd, an equity crowdfunding platform, invests in startups with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services. It also assists innovative companies in Asia seeking investments from accredited investors in return for equity or shares in the company.
In addition, accredited investors among UOB’s clients are able to broaden their investments into OurCrowd’s portfolio companies.
Through UOB’s investment in OurCrowd, we provide alternative financing to startups to help them as they grow their business.
Through InnoVen Capital, our joint venture with Temasek Holdings, we encourage entrepreneurs and startups in the region by providing them with venture debt financing to help them accelerate their commercial viability and increase the value of their businesses. InnoVen Capital focuses on sectors such as technology, consumer, healthcare and clean technology.
Providing Shariah-Compliant Products and Services
In 2016, we launched Islamic banking in Malaysia to provide Shariah-compliant products and services to both retail customers and corporate clients.
During the year, we were also appointed the principal adviser, lead arranger and lead manager of Perdana Petroleum Bhd’s RM650 million Sukuk Murabahah, or Islamic bonds programme.
Our Shariah-compliant banking solutions are designed around the lifestyle and business needs of our Muslim customers in Malaysia.
Setting the Standard for Excellent Customer Experience
The passion to serve our customers is reflected in the accolades we have received over the years. In 2016, a total of 1,180 UOB employees were recognised for their service excellence at The Association of Banks in Singapore’s (ABS) Excellent Service Awards (EXSA). This is 18 per cent more than the year before and accounted for close to a quarter of the 5,300 awards given out. UOB also received, for the sixth consecutive year, the highest number of Star Awards, with 814 of our EXSA recipients winning this highest tier award.
UOB also won the ABS Service Excellence Champion Award for the fourth time – the highest individual award given in the industry for exemplary banking and financial service.
Our own Group-wide Customer Commitments Awards also serves to encourage and to inspire our people to act always in the interests of our customers as we uphold the UOB values.
More information on our employee recognition programme can be found in the People section of this report.
At the ABS EXSA Ceremony 2016, our employees were recognised for their service excellence and for the fourth time, UOB won the top industry award.
Providing Access to Banking Through Our Comprehensive Network of Touchpoints
UOB’s financial products and services for retail customers and corporate clients are supported by an extensive global network of more than 500 branches and offices, and close to 1.2 million ATMs (including shared ATMs), and cash deposit, coin and cheque machines. These enable our customers to bank anytime, anywhere.
In 2016, we renovated eight branches at both residential and commercial areas to make them more accessible for our customers. Adopting an open-space concept, the refurbished branches allow for greater flow of traffic and easy navigation for those with disabilities.
We also upgraded our ATMs at 20 locations in Singapore to provide visually-impaired customers with audio assistance for transactions such as cash withdrawal and balance enquiry. The ATMs also have Braille features to guide these customers.
Building Relationships That Last
Knowing what is important for his customers has enabled Seth Tan, Vice President, Business Banking, to build trusted and lasting relationships with them. Seth responded quickly to a customer’s request for a trade facility application despite the customer having previously declined a similar offer. Understanding that the customer needed the loan urgently, Seth helped him complete his application and implemented a trade facility that met his business needs.
“Seth has been truly responsive and helpful with my banking requirement. He exceeded my expectations by being sensitive to my needs; he was proactive in recommending me alternative products and solutions. I am now considering expanding my banking relationship with UOB. I believe that we are in good hands from the consistent dedication and commendable service rendered to us.”
We offer a comprehensive and accessible network of touchpoints for our customers to conduct their banking.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, we helped to increase the local communities’ access to banking services through our branches in rural areas. More than 20 per cent of our branches in Indonesia are in areas designated as ‘less developed’ by the local government. In Malaysia, we have two semi-urban branches and one rural branch for every branch opened in market centres. New branches are planned at least 1.5 kilometres away from the nearest domestic bank to achieve a wider dispersion of bank branches nationwide.
Our online banking platforms also make our products and services available and easily accessible.
Enhancing Our Cyber Security Continuously
We are committed to protecting our customers from cyber security threats through maintaining the robustness of our risk management systems and processes.
We keep our customers informed about the latest information on cyber security tips and threats via website, electronic mailers, text messages and mobile apps. In addition, BIBPlus customers can download security software to enhance the security of their online banking experience.
Our Group Technology Risk Management Framework outlines our cyber security policies, guidelines and tools to protect our customers’ and the Bank’s data and assets. The framework also incorporates comprehensive control requirements set out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in its Technology Risk Management Guidelines. We collaborate with ABS and participate in the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center to share with industry players the potential threats, as well as best practices to prevent cyber attacks
We have a team of Security Operations Centre specialists who monitor, detect and respond to potential cyber security threats. We also provide all employees with ongoing training about cyber security risks.
Through these efforts, we contribute to the security and stability of the global financial system and trust in the banking environment.