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Banking on 'hip'

NEW FOCUS: The Frank by OCBC branch at Orchard Gateway was launched yesterday.


    Jul 04, 2014

    Banking on 'hip'

    OCBC is banking on "hip", as the bank woos not just the affluent, but also youth and new entrants to the workforce, with its newest branch at Orchard Gateway.

    Before walking into the banking halls, young customers will be greeted by images of models strutting down the runway showing off the latest fashion trends.

    High-net-worth customers can also enjoy coffee and appreciate art works while waiting for their transactions to go through.

    The 10,300 sq ft, three-storey branch - the bank's largest in Singapore - aims to redefine the banking experience for affluent, young and mass-market customers.

    But the bank is zeroing in on youth with its Frank by OCBC branch, the bank's fifth since it started the youth concept in 2011.

    Although Frank branches were first opened in university campuses, OCBC now wants to expand beyond the student crowd and target young adults who have just started work, said chief operating officer Ching Wei Hong.

    Noting that it would take a lot of effort to convince someone in his or her mid-30s to switch banks, Mr Ching said new entrants to the workforce would remain as loyal customers because "that's when people are a bit more discriminating about their bank account".

    Frank was created with the concept for youth to say "here's a bank that's talking to me in my language", Mr Ching added.

    For Serene Kwok, a National University of Singapore business undergraduate, online tools - such as setting up "saving goals" - are what drew her to sign up with Frank.

    "It's especially good for people like me who like to shop," she said.

    "I was attended to by Frank ambassadors who were young adults as well, and the branch had a nice, informal setting," added Ms Kwok, who signed up at the Orchard Gateway branch two months ago.