Singapore, arguably the busiest business spot in Asia, has an economy that anyone would be proud of, and is recognized widely as one of the most vibrant trade locations in the world. This stature of Singapore rests squarely on a few solid pillars, namely– stability, an enterprising and ready workforce, unmatched infrastructure, and a rock solid banking system.
Of these four aspects, the banking sector is particularly interesting because of the highly competitive scenario and the presence of big foreign names. The country is home today to some of the finest banks, offering services that are rated among the best.
Banks in Singapore
A recent study showed that there are a total of 111 commercial banks and 49 merchant banks operating in Singapore, offering a wide range of banking services. However, if we were to draw up a list of top banks, merchant banks usually don’t make it, because of their special focus, and it is commercial banks that usually come up on the list, for their services provided in the retail sector.
Local and Foreign Banks in Singapore
For the sake of better understanding, the banks can be fundamentally divided into two categories: local banks and foreign banks. In the local bank list, banks like Development Bank of Singapore, Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank are popular ones and enjoy a leader’s reputation.
But, the big competition is in the foreign bank category, where big names vie with each other to offer the best, making the scenario advantageous to the patron. The foreign category is dominated by banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank.
The Citigroup particularly is very popular in Singapore, and perhaps the brands popularity has to do with the group’s continued and long term commitment to Singapore. Though there are other big foreign names that have made quite a mark,
Citibank’s growth has been relatively rapid and with awards like the People Developer Standard Award associated with the brand, the group has managed to attain a different meaning to Singaporeans altogether. Today the Citibank occupies one of the largest shares in Singapore, offering regular banking solutions, loans, financial advisory services and continues to appeal to the populace. It is increasingly perceived as a bank easy to do business with, and this perception reflects in the way people react to the Citigroup. In 2009 it was awarded the Best Bank in Asia, confirming its position as the most popular bank, with the people of Singapore.