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    Apr 10, 2014

    OCBC dangles interest-rate carrot

    OCBC Bank is giving customers a higher interest rate based on the number of transactions they do with the bank, under its enhanced OCBC 360 account.

    This is similar to a DBS Bank scheme launched last month.

    The OCBC 360, launched last July, targets young professionals. It was revamped last week, after market research, to allow account holders to earn higher interest as they do more banking with OCBC.

    For example, the base interest is 0.05 per cent per year, and customers will earn an extra 1 per cent if they credit their monthly salary - which must be above $2,000 - to the account.

    They will earn another 1 per cent if they pay any three bills every month from this account, and 1 more per cent if they spend $400 a month using OCBC credit cards.

    In total, a customer can earn up to 3.05 per cent a year on the first $50,000 of the account balance. For amounts above that up to $200,000, customers will earn just the base interest.

    Mr Wyson Lim, OCBC Bank's head of group wealth management, said yesterday: "We want to build better engagement with our clients. The way we measure engagement is... also through the utilisation of our account.

    "This is part and parcel of how we want to engage more with the younger segment. As they transit from university to working life, we want this to be a 'defecto' account."

    On the other hand, the DBS Bank scheme is aimed at more well-off clients with at least $7,500 flowing through their accounts each month.

    DBS Bank did not give an exact figure as to how many signed up for its programme, but said it has "more than tripled" since its pilot earlier this year, where more than 1,000 signed up.

    Meanwhile, more than 16,000 people have signed up for the OCBC 360 account.

    Sales director Marc Gan, 34, is one of them.

    He said: "The criteria are not difficult to meet. This is beneficial to the man in the street, as you don't need that much movement of cash to earn the interest."

    Others said they would look out for similar programmes as a comparison.

    Mr Gordon Ng, 25, a final-year economics student at the National University of Singapore, noted: "It does sound attractive, but I believe there are similar deals that other banks are offering. I will look into others too, but I will definitely consider this."