POSB to expand its reach as the 'people's bank'

POSB to expand its reach as the 'people's bank'

POSB has plans to widen its reach in the community and hopes to entrench its position as the "people's bank", said Mr Derrick Goh, who took over as bank head in October last year.

"Since last year, we have made a concerted effort to reach out to the full spectrum of the community, from the young to the senior citizens," he said in a recent interview.

He recognised that POSB has lost a bit of ground in its outreach effort during the past few years, but he preferred to "look forward rather than backward".

"POSB has a long heritage, providing banking services for generations of Singaporeans. We want to continue that time-tested and much-loved tradition, and we will do so by offering the full range of basic banking products. We want to do a lot better in that space," he said.

POSB and DBS Bank, both of which are part of DBS Group Holdings, have an ATM network that numbers more than 1,100.

One outreach effort, unveiled on Sunday, is a tie-up with Singapore Press Holdings to locate POSB ATM machines at SPH Buzz Pods, which are convenience stores located across the island.

This move is part of POSB's network strategy to provide greater reach and convenience for its customers.

Last year, the bank started to provide banking services at SingPost outlets, and also set up smaller branches at community centres.

The next POSB branch will open next month at the West Coast Community Club.

Mr Goh said: "We think that being part of the community is actually getting into their daily routine, where they work, where they go to school. That is where we would like POSB to be."

To cater for the elderly, POSB branches have designated a special counter for them every Tuesday, open during the first three hours of business, to reduce the time they spend waiting in line.

Together with the Council For Third Age, POSB also launched the Active card - an ATM card and a signature-based debit card targeted at senior citizens.

For Housing Board home owners, POSB recently launched a new floating rate loan whose interest rate is capped below the board's concessionary rate for 10 years.

Ms Karen Ngui, DBS Bank's managing director and head of group strategic marketing and communications, noted: "We recognise that we have a responsibility to bank the whole of Singapore, and we will make it easy for Singapore to bank with us."

"Banking some of the accounts is not bottom-line accretive, but we will continue to do it, and see what the best way is to do it," she added.

For example, POSB does not charge minimum balance fees for students below 21, people above 65, full-time national servicemen and people under the Ministry of Social and Family Development's public assistance schemes.

"We want to promote the value of savings and not let people get so fussed up over the issue of fees," said Mr Goh.

songyuan@sph.com.sg


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