SG Dealbook: OCBC targets startups with new account; UOB-IE partner to help SMEs internationalise

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Cityscape of Singapore. Credit:Flickr/Michaela Loheit

OCBC is launching a new business account that targets startup ventures the city-state while IE Singapore and UOB have partnered to help SMEs scale regionally and internationalise their operations.

OCBC Bank launches new business account targeting startups

OCBC has launched the OCBC Business Growth Account, announcing on Tuesday that this new current account targets entrepreneurial ventures and other startups, which have grown from over 10 years to 48,000 in 2015 from 26,500 in 2005, according to official figures.

According to the bank, it incorporates two key factors startups consider when choosing a banking account; a low initial deposit of S$500, and a low minimum monthly balance of S$3000. OCBC said startups that open a banking account with the bank can also sign up for a business mobile plan at competitive rates with telco operator Singtel.

The new account was created based on the findings from a survey conducted among business owners, which found that nearly 65 per cent of new businesses would open a banking account within the first three months of incorporating the business.

The respondents had indicated that that the amount required to open an account should be below $1000, and that they would maintain a minimum monthly amount of $3000 in their banking account for making payments to their vendors or suppliers.

This is due to startups having simpler transactional needs, with cashflow a pertinent concern. This new scheme enables startups to free up their cash from maintaining high minimum monthly balances.

IE Singapore & UOB partner to facilitate cross-border SME trade

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and United Overseas Bank (UOB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday to help more Singapore companies in cross-border trade and internationalisation.

The partnership will provide Singapore companies with customised trade and financing solutions, deeper access to in-market connections, business partners and professional service providers across Asia, including business tie-ups with UOB’s global clients.

This is IE Singapore’s first strategic partnership with a Singapore bank and will see them aims to assist 200 Singapore companies in their overseas expansion over the next three years, concentrating on Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Europe.

UOB will provide advisory and solutions on trade financing for Singapore companies expanding overseas, with initiatives and financial tools being developed by both organisations to ease internationalisation.

Customised financial solutions, such as supply chain financing, cross-border financing, venture debt, cash management and settlement, as well as professional services including public listings, bond issuances and corporate finance advisory are also part of this package.

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