OCBC to get 'plain English' approval for more forms

OCBC to get 'plain English' approval for more forms

SINGAPORE - OCBC Bank is continuing to make forms and brochures more readable so people can "really understand what they're purchasing", it said last Monday.

The bank is getting all 11 of its product risk disclosure statements approved by the Plain English Campaign, a British organisation that promotes clearly written English.

OCBC expects all the forms to receive the coveted Crystal Mark - Plain English Campaign's seal of approval - by the end of the first quarter next year, said Ms Koh Ching Ching, head of group corporate communications.

The bank is also offering video news bulletins featuring experts from its wealth panel to its Premier Banking clients, who have a minimum of $200,000 in assets under management.

Mr Lim Wyson, OCBC's head of global wealth management, told a briefing yesterday: "Customers said it's just too painful for me to find out my options for savings and investing.

"Some said it was akin to PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam) because there was just too much information."

Several OCBC forms and brochures have already earned the Crystal Mark, a process that can take several months to complete.

This list includes its financial needs analysis form, which is the first document customers see when they approach the bank about wealth management.

Instead of being a wall of text, the redesigned form includes infographics and other visuals.

The most recent addition to the list is OCBC's mortgage insurance brochure, which also seeks to explain the general concept of such insurance.

The brochure was rolled out in May, the bank's first such for this product.

OCBC noted that the mortgage insurance premiums it collected during the January to October period grew tenfold from the same period last year, and the average premium amount rose by nine times.

The number of new unit trust customers grew threefold in January through October compared with a year earlier.

While the new forms and brochures are not the sole causes of business growth, they play an important role in improving communication with customers, Mr Lim said.

OCBC is the first financial institution in South-east Asia to receive the Crystal Mark.

Its first award was for its Housing Board mortgage application documents in the first half of last year.

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