OCBC’s Hong Kong unit ties up with Ping An Bank for wealth management

OCBC Bank branchOCBC Bank branch

OCBC Bank’s Hong Kong unit has tied up with China’s Ping An Bank to provide wealth management services under the region’s new program allowing cross-border investments across the Greater Bay Area, the bank said in a press release Tuesday.

Helen Wong, group CEO of OCBC Bank, said the Greater Bay Area is a key strategic area of growth for her bank, with a lot of growth potential, particularly in wealth management.

The program, launched in September and called the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) allows mutual market access programs between capital markets in Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland. Under the program, eligible residents of those areas can invest in wealth management products distributed by banks in each other’s markets, with individual retail investors able to open and operate accounts directly.

The Greater Bay Area (GBA) is the 12th largest economic entity globally, OCBC noted, with the region including nine high-growth southern Chinese cities as well as Hong Kong and Macau.

The tie-up between OCBC Wing Hang and Ping An Bank will be used to offer diversified financial services to their GBA customers, OCBC said.

Eligible Ping An customers can open investment accounts with OCBC Wing Hang and buy qualified wealth management products, which can include global assets, while eligible OCBC Wing Hang customers can use an investment account with Ping An Bank to purchase wealth management products from mainland China, the statement said.

CEO Wong said the new program was a “game-changer,” opening up a new segment of customers.

“Our partnership with Ping An Bank, combined with our strong wealth management capabilities regionally, as well as our significant branch presence in the GBA, enables us to offer China customers a wealth of diversified investment opportunities through our twin hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong,” she said in the statement.

The statement noted Ping An Bank has a network of more than 300 branches in the GBA, with over 107 million retail customers.

In general, the Wealth Management Connect program is expected to facilitate up to 300 billion yuan, or around S$63 billion, in investment flows, generating around 3.2 billion yuan in annual wealth management fees for banks, the statement said, noting the program is viewed as a test-bed for gradually relaxing China’s capital controls.