UOB's CEO just explained how you're most likely to find a job there

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If you’re applying for a banking or technology job at UOB (or if you’re already an employee there) you’ll want to know about how the bank’s business strategy is potentially going to affect your career. Fortunately, Wee Ee Cheong, UOB’s deputy chairman and chief executive officer, has just provided some hints during the firm’s annual corporate day.

Wee has outlined the bank’s “key priorities” amid rising global trade tensions – he wants to focus on “regional connectivity, ecosystem partnerships, and strong balance sheet and quality earnings”. But what does this mean, exactly, for the future of jobs at UOB? Here’s our analysis.

Apply for a transfer overseas…

If you have a job at UOB in Singapore, you may want to apply for a regional transfer in the near future. Wee pointed out that more than 40% of the firm’s operating profit comes from outside of Singapore (and nearly 80% of that comes from Asean countries and China). More importantly, Wee said at the corporate day that he expects this number to rise as UOB strengthens its “regional connectivity” to tap “intra-regional flows” and Asia’s “rising affluence”.

…to an Asean country

While UOB may have made S$226m in operating income from China in Q1, Wee hinted that strong growth is on the cards for the bank in the Asean region. The recent escalation in US-China trade dispute means that  “new business flows into Southeast Asia are very likely”. The trade tensions mean that more international businesses are expected to “diversify their supply chains” into Asean markets (presumably at the expense of China), which will benefit local suppliers and the UOB bankers who serve them.

Work on cross-border deals

Whatever country you’re based in, it appears like a good idea to get a UOB job that focuses primarily on cross-border – rather than local – deals. Wee highlighted the fact that in 2018 UOB’s regional network helped more than 500 companies expand across Asia. “This is set against rising cross-border revenue in Asia, with an expected market potential of around $40bn in 2020,” he added.  

Take a digital banking job at UOB

As we reported earlier this month, UOB has been investing (and hiring) heavily in digital banking. The bank’s Q1 report partly attributed a 9% year-on-year rise in total costs on “IT-related expenses” as it “remained committed to investing in talent and technology”. Wee reinforced this at the corporate day by saying the bank is continuing to make significant investments in developing its digital capabilities. But he suggested that this investment isn’t only focused on UOB’s new stand-alone digital bank TMRW – it extends across all of the firm’s channels.

Work alongside fintechs

If you apply for a digital banking or technology job at UOB, be prepared for an interview question about collaborating with (not competing with) fintech firms. Wee believes in an “open- rather than a closed-loop approach” to building UOB’s business and in “sharing the growth benefits with other ecosystem players”. He highlighted the bank’s recent digital partnership with tech unicorn Grab.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Email: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com or Telegram: @simonmortlock

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Image credit: WaraJenny, Getty

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