The core elements of Fair Dealing – integrity, trust and respect – are deeply rooted in all aspects of the relationships we hold and nurture with our customers. This can be seen from how we develop our products and services through to our after-sales care.
We ensure Fair Dealing is central to our culture by:
- offering products and services which are suitable for our customers;
- ensuring our colleagues are competent 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 customer complaints independently, effectively and promptly.
Our Fair Dealing Guidelines Committee champions Fair Dealing across the Group and assists the Board and the senior management in ensuring Fair Dealing outcomes for our customers are met. The Committee reviews and approves the action plans, guidelines, management information framework, processes and practices to this effect. The business functions also report their progress to the Committee periodically.
Our Product Sales Committee (PSC) reviews and/or approves all investment products, as defined under the Financial Advisers Act, Securities and Futures Act and the Insurance Act, which are distributed by UOB and its banking subsidiaries. The relevant Product Due Diligence and Sales Governance frameworks are also reviewed and approved by the PSC.
All UOB colleagues must complete an e-learning module on Fair Dealing every year. We also produce high-impact content and visuals for regular and frequent internal communications campaigns to reinforce understanding and to embed the practice of Fair Dealing across the organisation.
Customer Data and Privacy
Protecting our customers’ personal data and privacy is a priority to us and essential to maintaining their trust in us. We have extensive policies and processes in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of their information. We are also committed to complying with the Personal Data Protection Act of Singapore and to upholding industry best practices.
The main principles of our Personal Data Protection Policy are:
- personal data must only be collected and used for purposes for which the customer has been notified and has consented to, or are permitted by law;
- access and disclosure are strictly on a need-to-know basis;
- the integrity and security of personal data are paramount; and
- personal data that is no longer required for legal or business purposes must be destroyed securely in accordance with document retention policies.
With rising international data privacy standards, we conduct regular reviews to ensure our systems are robust. Data privacy impact assessments are integral to our business and product development process, to ensure that data protection is embedded into the services we provide and into every aspect of our operations.
We have in place data breach, complaint handling and escalation processes. Group Operational Risk Management and the Data Protection Office review any incidents and the corresponding action plans developed by the business and support units. Significant incidents are escalated to relevant senior management committees.
Line data protection officers at functional and business levels in Singapore and locally-appointed officers at overseas locations ensure that data is safeguarded. These officers report to the Franchise Data Protection Officers in Singapore, who in turn report to the Group CEO. Our data protection officers ensure compliance with local regulations and Group requirements and assist in investigating alleged breaches. Every year, our people undergo online training on the principles, policies and procedures for data privacy and security.
We respect our customers’ marketing preferences and ensure we record their consent to receive telemarketing calls. Withdrawal of consent is also free of hassle. We also facilitate our customers’ requests to access and to correct their personal data through various channels such as mail, email or at our branches.
Information on our approach to privacy and data protection and contact details for our Data Protection Officers are available on our website. Our UOB Privacy Notice is also available online and at all branches in Singapore.
In 2018, there were no legal proceedings taken against UOB in respect of any data privacy breach, nor any fine or other penalty imposed on the Bank by the Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission.
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing
Our Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework aims to detect and to prevent the risks associated with money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions. The framework includes programmes relating to risk assessment, employee training, customer due diligence and transaction monitoring.
We require all employees to comply with UOB’s Group Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Sanctions Policy and applicable laws.
We review regularly our framework, policies, procedures, programmes and transaction monitoring systems to ensure their robustness and compliance with regulatory requirements. A dedicated senior management committee has governance oversight of the Group’s AML/CFT- and sanction-related matters. The framework and the associated programmes are also audited by our internal and external auditors.
At UOB, we use technology to provide borderless, reliable and efficient service, and are committed to protecting our customers’ and the Bank’s data and assets from cybersecurity threats. We maintain the robustness of our risk management systems and have in place the Group Technology Risk Management Framework and IT Security Management Policy that outline our cybersecurity policies, guidelines and tools to protect our data and assets. The Group Technology Risk Management Framework also incorporates comprehensive control requirements set out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in its Technology Risk Management Guidelines.
Our team of dedicated Security Operations Centre specialists monitor, detect and respond to potential cybersecurity risks and threats. We also continually upgrade our security capabilities to respond to the evolving threat landscape by partnering leading cybersecurity providers and expanding our security technology.
Recognising that everyone plays a role in cybersecurity defence, we regularly train our people on cybersecurity risks. We also hold cybersecurity activities to raise awareness and to test our people’s vigilance. We keep our people informed of developments and share best practices with them through our intranet, MyUOB.
We collaborated with ABS and participated in the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center to share with our industry peers potential threats and best practices to strengthen our collective defence against cyber attacks.
To raise our customers’ awareness of cybersecurity so they can also help protect themselves from cyber attacks, we provide them with regular updates on cybersecurity tips and threats via our website, social media channels, electronic mailers, text messages and mobile apps. In addition, our UOB BIBPlus customers can download security software to improve the security of their online banking experience.
Through these efforts, we contribute to the security and stability of the financial system and trust in the banking environment.
Harnessing Technology to Make Banking Simpler, Smarter and Safer
In 2018, we continued to deepen our digital capabilities to create distinctive banking experiences for our customers. We harnessed technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics to draw insights from transaction data, enhancing our understanding of customers and our ability to recommend the most appropriate product and service at the right time.
In Singapore, we were the first bank to digitalise the application and approval process for products, including deposit accounts, credit and debit cards, personal loans and secured loans such as car and home loans. The process taps MyInfo, a government service that enables citizens and residents to manage the use of their personal data for simpler online applications, and removes the need for customers to submit multiple paper copies of documents. We also built a secure connection to the Credit Bureau Singapore and our proprietary credit assessment engine to facilitate an instant decision on applications. This means that customers can apply for and open an account in less than 15 minutes, instead of up to five days which the process used to take.
Our customers can also use our digital account opening service in Vietnam, where UOB was the first Singapore bank to establish a subsidiary bank. Consumers in Vietnam can simply download our mobile banking app, UOB Mighty, and provide the necessary information required to open a bank account. To finalise the process, our associate will visit the customer at their convenience for the regulation-required, face-to-face verification and to provide the customer with their account details. This mobile account opening service, which saves consumers up to 80 per cent of the average time taken to open an account, was awarded the Online Banking Initiative of the Year, Vietnam at the Asian Banking & Finance Retail Banking Awards 2018. The award was in recognition of our efforts to create a frictionless digital experience to meet the needs of the country’s digitally-savvy population.
In China, our UOB Direct Banking mobile app also enables our customers to open a bank account, to manage their finances and to make investments digitally. For the online shoppers and international travellers among our customers, we launched Mighty FX in Singapore for them to trade and to transact quickly and conveniently in 11 major currencies without having to pay any currency conversion fees. With Mighty FX, which is embedded in our all-in-one UOB Mighty app, our customers can review current and historical rates and choose to set alerts for their preferred rates to make a conversion. This makes it more convenient for them to make online purchases from overseas merchants, to set aside foreign currencies for their holidays overseas or to use the account to help build up their foreign currency savings. It is offered to customers with the UOB One Account, KrisFlyer UOB Account, UOB i-Account, UOB Wealth Premium Account or UOB Privilege Account.
Another feature in our mobile banking app is UOB Mighty Secure, a digital security token function which enables our customers to authenticate their internet and mobile banking transactions. This service, first launched in Singapore in 2016, was made available to our customers in Malaysia in 2018. Using UOB Mighty Secure, customers can transact from anywhere. As long as they have access to the internet, they will be able to receive their security token via their UOB Mighty app. This is more convenient than receiving a SMS One-Time-Password that is dependent on a mobile network service. The digital security token also suits consumers who use their smartphones more frequently and regularly to bank and to make payments.
As a leader in payments across the region, we continue to create and to offer our customers innovative payment options in support of their country’s cashless initiatives. For example, in Malaysia we enabled on UOB Mighty, DuitNow, which is a digital payment facility by Payments Network Malaysia. DuitNow enables consumers to transfer funds conveniently and securely to individuals or businesses by using their mobile phone numbers, national registration identity card or business registration numbers. Our customers in Malaysia can also use their UOB debit cards to top up their e-wallet on WeChat Pay, a major mobile service payment provider that has expanded its service from China into Malaysia.
In addition, we were the first foreign bank in China to enable UnionPay’s Quick Response (QR) code mobile payments when we integrated the feature into our UOB Direct Banking mobile app. Our customers can make payments easily to merchants in China and in close to 20 other countries including Singapore and Thailand.
To encourage greater use of cashless payments in Singapore, we participated in the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s e-Payment Learning Journey initiative to help seniors benefit from the ease of mobile payments. Our colleagues helped the silver generation to download UOB Mighty and guided them on using PayNow and the Scan QR feature on the mobile app to make fund transfers and payments.