Asia's best bank transformation 2019: UOB
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Asia's best bank transformation 2019: UOB

Awards for Excellence 2019

has a reputation for conservatism. It is a family dynasty bank that thinks for the very long term, so the digital shifts of recent years there are highly important. The announcement during our review period of a new digital bank for the region came alongside a greater level of openness at the bank. Both are welcome.

This work has been underway for some years, but the first sense of something truly new happening came in April 2018 when UOB launched a new business called Avatec, a joint venture with China’s Pintec Technology Holdings, designed to bring Chinese big data expertise to southeast Asian banking.

This involved a whole new method of risk assessment, along with the potential to reach a lot of customers UOB would normally never have served.

A partnership with Israel-based fintech Personetics, announced in July, aimed to improve the bank’s artificial intelligence capabilities in southeast Asia.

Then, in August, UOB used its first-half results briefing to unveil a new digital bank to be rolled out across five Asean markets, seeking, it said at the time, up to five million new customers.

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