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Singapore's best domestic bank 2023: UOB


Wee Ee Cheong, UOB Group.jpg
Wee Ee Cheong, UOB Group

UOB’s stellar financial performance in 2022 is down to years of work behind the scenes: and the investment by the bank under its chief executive, Wee Ee Cheong, over the past five years to bolster its franchise.

The result is a 20% jump in core operating profit, year on year, to S$6.6 billion ($5 billion) last year as the business fired on all cylinders. Group wholesale banking income rose 23%; group retail income rose 16%; net interest income jumped 31%; and trading and investment income increased 6%.

The bank’s non-performing loan ratio was steady at 1.6%, while its liquidity coverage ratio and net stable funding ratio were both above the minimum regulatory requirements.

Diversification has been a big focus at UOB. Within wholesale banking, for example, half the revenue comes from markets outside Singapore. The bank’s corporate portfolio now comprises 50% large corporates and roughly 30% small and mid-cap corporations. That proportion has shifted over the past couple of years because the Covid pandemic took a greater toll on the growth of SMEs.