Digital RM app launched by Standard Chartered Bank for its affluent customers

The digital RM app allows the banks affluent customers to bypass border restrictions to interact directly with relationship managers

digital rm app
image: Standard Charted Singapore

Standard Chartered Bank announced on 4th June that it has launched a digital ‘My RM’ app to bring seamless and secured connection to clients globally amidst border restrictions and travel halts.

The brand-new function, embedded within its online and mobile banking platforms, allows its affluent clients – both local and international – to interact with their relationship managers directly, schedule appointments to go through latest market views, and authorise investment transactions securely from wherever they are.

The digital RM app offers clients a time-efficient engagement with their relationship managers and investment advisors to make transactions conveniently, especially in the current low-contact environment.

Through file sharing, screen sharing, and audio call functions, clients can quickly react to market movements and capture opportunities speedily, all within a secure environment.

With over 30% of the Bank’s affluent clients in Singapore being international, having the right channels to stay in contact with them is crucial, especially during these times. International Banking is a growing business for the Bank and has been experiencing strong growth despite headwinds in the last year.

The Bank’s International Banking client portfolio and total assets under management PUBLIC (AUM) have registered double-digit growth over the last few years and remains on an upward growth trajectory of more than 30% per annum last year. Owing to the Bank’s pervasive deployment of digital solutions and heightened level of collaboration between markets in the network, there has been a record number of more than 6,000 successful referrals made across borders last year.

This number is expected to grow. According to the ‘Global Wealth 2020’ report by Boston Consulting Group, the affluent band will be the fastest-growing in Asia and its share of cross-border wealth is set to reach 40% by 2024.

The Bank plans to double its relationship managers to tap on Singapore’s reputation as an international wealth hub, and double its International Banking business in the next five years.

Dwaipayan Sadhu, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Singapore, said: “Staying close to our clients, regardless of distance, and harnessing technology to elevate their banking experience is a huge priority. With My RM, we have a strong tool which marries high touch and high tech to effectively provide timely investment services to our affluent clients, especially those based overseas. I am glad to share that since its launch in April, almost half of our affluent clients are on My RM, with significant usage from International Banking clients.”

Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said, “With Singapore continuing to position itself as a wealth hub, banks like Standard Chartered are enhancing their ecosystem of digital tools to deliver more innovative mobile solutions.”

For example, in December 2020 Citibank opened its largest wealth hub globally, dedicated to Citigold and Citigold Private Client customers, signaling the importance of Singapore as a key investment market for its Asia consumer business.

Citibank Singapore said that as part of its “Win in Wealth” strategy in Asia, it aims to double AUM growth as well as triple the number of Citigold and above qualified clients in the country by 2025. “Win in Wealth” strategically positions the bank to harness the opportunities of the world’s fastest growing market with its longstanding history in Asia across business lines, physical presence in 17 local markets across APAC and unique global network.

The bank added that the opening of its Citi Wealth Hub at 268 Orchard reflects Citi’s commitment to better serve wealth clients in Singapore as the bank moves to elevate the banking experience through strong digital offerings to help clients manage simple daily banking needs digitally, while handling the intricacies and needs of high net worth clients face-to-face.

Every month, close to 70% of Citi’s retail banking customers are already logging onto the Citi Mobile® App in Singapore. While customers are increasingly opting for digital to meet their day to day banking needs, most clients still prefer a human touch for wealth advisory which involves more complex transactions.

Citibank’s new wealth hub is set to be a holistic knowledge sharing space that will deliver an exclusive, personal investment service that focuses not only on individual financial goals but also what wealth may mean to every client.

Mr Ho added, “in their attempt to serve their affluent clients better and to give them better customer satisfaction, most banks are relooking their offerings to this particular base. Any digital solutions the banks provide, must be a holistic knowledge sharing space that delivers a unique wealth banking experience to their clients. There is a great opportunity for financial institutions to serve the growing affluent segment in Singapore and help them to grow their business.”

OCBC reported last year that in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, its virtual wealth advisory service saw a big jump in sales.

On 18 April 2020, with the Circuit Breaker period still in effect, OCBC Bank took the highly-regulated wealth advisory process – a complex face-to-face process involving over 50 pages of documents and a comprehensive Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) – online.

OCBC Bank registered an increase of 45% in the sale of wealth management products in the first 10 days of launch compared to the prior 10 days, indicating a positive response from customers to non-face-to-face wealth conversations. The products range from unit trusts to bancassurance products, and from structured investments and bonds to foreign exchange products.

As a result, customers of OCBC Bank retail banking, OCBC Premier Banking and OCBC Premier Private Client were able to review their investment portfolios during a time of market volatility and seize investment opportunities.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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