Culinaryon (Singapore): All You Need to Know Before You Go (with PHOTOS)
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These investments reflect our continual efforts to ensure we are building the right capabilities for the future. Due to a combination of strong revenue momentum and our continued cost discipline, our expense-to-income ratio was stable at We made the prudent decision to accelerate the recognition of residual vulnerable exposures as non-performing assets in the fourth quarter, thereby reducing lingering credit risks to the Group. As a result, the non-performing loans NPL ratio rose from 1.
NPL coverage remained strong at 91 per cent. Our loan-to-deposit ratio was healthy at While deposits are our main source of funds, we also tapped debt capital markets to build term funding capabilities and to optimise funding costs. We also diversified our investor base, with more participation from European investors alongside Asian ones. This success is a testament to the confidence investors have in our strong balance sheet and financial standing.
Our capital position remained healthy. The Group s leverage ratio was eight per cent, well above Basel s minimum requirement of three per cent. Enterprising with a Far-Sighted Approach As our results reflect, we forged ahead on many fronts to achieve our strategic priorities, continuing to invest in the present to help ensure business growth well into the future. We continue to focus on building our regional franchise; enhancing our capabilities as we connect individuals and businesses to financial opportunities at home and abroad; harnessing technology to UOB ANNUAL REPORT 12 Deputy Chairman and CEO s Report strengthen performance and to improve the customer experience, and developing our people to their full potential for them to stay ahead in this fast-changing world.
During the year, we made good progress on initiatives that will reshape our earnings mix and balance sheet profile. Two key priorities as part of these efforts are to boost fee income and to tap regional connectivity flows. Building on Our Regional Franchise Our well-timed investments over many years have ensured we have a competitive advantage in the region.
As a leading bank in Asia with a strong franchise and integrated network across Southeast Asia, we are best placed to seize the immense opportunities being created for business, trade and investment. Our position will be strengthened by our ability to continue to tap the region s growth drivers in serving the needs of our customers as they increase their wealth and expand their businesses.
During the year, we deepened our regional franchise when we received a foreign-owned subsidiary bank licence in Vietnam in September. We look forward to deepening our commitment to the country, where we have maintained a branch sinceand to helping more Vietnamese companies with both their domestic growth plans as well as cross-border ambitions and to facilitate foreign investment from our regional clients into Vietnam.
For example, in November we opened a branch in Kunming, Yunnan a strategic node of the BRI which has recorded strong trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and Southeast Asian countries.
Our new Kunming branch is well-positioned to help Southwest China s businesses with their cross-border expansion plans through onshore and offshore solutions. It also complements our operations in West China s Chengdu and Chongqing.
Connecting Clients to Opportunities We continued to help our clients tap regional cross-border flows more effectively by connecting them seamlessly across the region and helping them benefit from the ecosystem of partnerships we have been building.
We were the first bank in Southeast Asia to set up dedicated Foreign Direct Investment FDI Advisory Units across Asia from to help companies work through the complexities of operating locally and to bridge them to opportunities across the region as they expand overseas and enter new markets.
As part of increasing our FDI ecosystem of partners, in June we signed another Memorandum of Understanding, this time, with the Chinese Chamber of International Commerce, China s national business association. This adds to our other tie-ups with government agencies and industry partners to support our clients long-term regional growth ambitions. In reshaping our business for new avenues of growth, we are also helping start-ups grow and prosper through a different ecosystem of partners one focused on supporting the growth of emerging businesses.
The FinLab has been instrumental in providing practical guidance, resources and mentorship to start-ups as they secure investor funding, sign commercial deals and scale their businesses.
With investor funding important to helping start-ups thrive, we continue to provide non-traditional funding sources through UOB Venture Management and our alliances with OurCrowd and InnoVen Capital.
We demonstrated the depth and breadth of our start-up ecosystem at the Singapore FinTech Festival which had more than 25, participants from more than countries. As businesses go through various stages of maturity, our wholesale banking solutions provide them with the support they need every step of the way. Deepening and Widening Our Capabilities We are sharpening our focus on selected industry sectors where we see the strongest opportunities in trade and investment flows.
Through a deeper understanding of our clients value chain, using data analytics, risk insights and controls, we are able to address their needs holistically. This in turn deepens the relationship with our clients. For instance, we made good progress in the Financial Institutions segment, increasing total income and generating a higher proportion of non-loan income through the provision of trade financing, cash management and Global Markets solutions.
Our wealth management business also remained strong with our organic growth strategy bearing fruit.
UOB Annual Report 2017
In the regional markets, our ground presence continues to give us an edge in client engagement and convenience. There is much more potential to be realised as we serve the increasing number of affluent customers in Asia and strengthen our one-bank approach across our extensive network and client segments. We also built upon our progress in developing banking solutions specifically for our millennial customers. We were the first in Singapore to create a tailored banking suite to help these young professionals start building their wealth from their first jobs and have now extended the award-winning UOB YOLO credit card to Malaysia and Thailand.
Keeping Our Customers at the Heart of All We Do In a world where the lines between the physical and virtual are blurring, we believe in integrating digital and traditional channels to give our customers a truly rounded, consistent and cumulative experience across all products, services and touchpoints.
We ensure the experience is not only borderless, intuitive and efficient through economic cycles and across markets, but that it is also safe and reliable for our customers. We recognise the important role technology plays in ensuring these. For us, meeting the needs of our customers is always the first premise when we consider how best to use technology.
While we innovate and keep pace with advances in technology, we do so with a clear purpose of making banking smarter, simpler and safer, and always wrapped in the warmth of the human touch.
The outcome of our approach is best demonstrated in the development of our all-in-one mobile application app UOB Mighty. We launched UOB Mighty in Singapore inwhen the ubiquity of and reliance on the mobile phone were already apparent. We wanted to ensure optimal use of the limited space on the mobile screen in fulfilling our customers banking, payment and lifestyle needs, yet making their experience easy and intuitive.
Hence we designed the single, unified mobile app. We continue to provide a clean, clear, consistent and uncluttered experience for our customers even as we introduce new features via the app.
In Julywe integrated PayNow, the peer-to-peer payments service in Singapore based on an individual s mobile number or identification number into UOB Mighty. Other banks across the region have since followed suit, integrating payment services within social media platforms. For our corporate clients, we also used technology to help them achieve sustainable business growth through new revenue streams, process improvements and productivity gains.
For example, we launched the UOB Virtual Payment Solutions suite to help more small- and medium-sized enterprises SMEs gain greater control and transparency in managing their cash flow, an essential factor for a business success. It also automates much of the manual processing, thereby freeing up the SME s resources for business development.
More than 1, of our small business customers are now using UOB BizSmart, a cloud-based integrated solution to help them manage inventory, payroll, accounting and data protection.
In latewe became the first Asian bank to partner SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software, to offer SAP Business One solution, an enterprise resource planning tool, to small businesses through BizSmart.
Core to the development of our digital capabilities is our people. One such programme is the Professional Conversion Programme, which was designed to deepen their digital skills in areas such as design thinking, customer journey design, channel management, and scenario analysis and planning.
In Novemberwe rolled out the first phase of the programme to of our customer-facing employees in Singapore and are expanding it across the organisation. United in Our Efforts to Strengthen Community Bonds Our care and commitment for people extend to the communities in which we operate. We believe that through our steadfast support of art, children and education we can help open minds and hearts and thereby strengthen societal bonds.
Inwe contributed holistically to these community causes through philanthropy, partnerships and employee participation in the areas of visual arts and art therapy programmes, financial literacy initiatives and the nurturing of future banking talents.
Across Asia, our people volunteered more than 61, hours to support local community activities. This year s fundraising event saw more than 14, clients, colleagues and community partners participating to help improve the lives of children with financial difficulties or special needs. We also use payment innovation to enable people to participate in social causes. We were the first and only bank to extend the use of PayNow to raise funds nationwide in support of people with special needs through our PayNow for a Cause campaign in Singapore.
We were recognised for being a trailblazer in corporate giving when we were given the Champion of Good award by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre Singapore Outlook Inwe saw the broadest improvement in global economic recovery since and this upswing is expected to continue. Asia s growth will be anchored by the stability in China, which recorded its first growth pick-up in sinceeven as the region grapples with the impact of protectionist trade policies from the US.
We remain optimistic about ASEAN s growth prospects, driven by the region s vast and growing consumer market, substantial intra-regional trade volume and continued investment inflows. Trade and investments in ASEAN are also set to benefit from the BRI, which will continue to underpin the expansion of business opportunities and connectivity for the region.
Committed to Sustaining Our Growth Responsibly While Asia, with its increasing cross-border flows and rising consumer affluence, is set to ride on the global economic recovery, it does so amid lingering geopolitical tensions and uncertainties brought on by policy shifts. In steering through times such as these, we stay anchored to our founding principles, upholding our values of Honour, Enterprise, Unity and Commitment, as we persevere in pursuit of our goals, whatever the weather or terrain.
Just as the rocks on the cover of our Annual Report represent the strong foundation on which our business is built, we can be sure-footed in our journey ahead.
The groundwork we have laid for our regional franchise sets a strong base for us to seize the rising business opportunities. We will continue to balance growth with stability, supported by our sound balance sheet and targeted investments for the future.
Further leveraging on one-world alliance partners like Qatar Airways was also recommended to ensure that MAS travellers do not lose connectivity to long-haul destinations after the rationalization of flight routes.
In the long-run, we advocated that MAS should market itself based on an added aspect of safety. Upon analysis of the many airlines in the industry, we realized that few airlines pride themselves on being safe as a differentiating factor.
This signifies that consumers have come to treat accord safety as an expected basic product level. However, with every aviation incident, the issue of safety is brought to the forefront once again.
We identified an opportunity for MAS to capitalize on to differentiate itself based on upholding high safety standards and communicating this explicitly to the public through safety campaigns.
Also, we advocated that MAS should also pioneer new improved safety regulations in the industry to garner good publicity for the airline. By doing so, MAS would hopefully be able to eradicate the negative perception that currently prevents many potential customers from flying with the airline. Do you know more about this story?
Should You Use the KrisFlyer UOB Debit Card to Earn Miles?
Where a company's employees have caused the commission of a strict liability offence, the company may be held liable as such. Second, a company may also be guilty of an offence that requires the existence of a guilty mind.
Third, a criminal statute may expressly make a company liable for the acts of its officers and employees. Civil liability A company can also be subject to civil liability for the conduct of its officers and employees. A company may, in addition to its own personal liability for wrongs, also be liable for the tortious acts of its servants committed in the course of their employment under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Generally speaking, corporate conduct as a whole is punishable. That said, insofar as criminal liability is concerned, any corporate wrongdoing is likely to also involve the acts of particular individuals. These particular individuals may, apart from the company's liability, be themselves guilty of an offence.
There is no bar against criminal liability being imposed on both the company and its officers and employees. Legal representation There is generally no objection to a company and its employees being represented by the same counsel in the same matter where their interests are aligned. However, where in a particular case there arises a conflict or a risk of conflict between the interests of the company and the interests of the employee in respect of the matter, it is typically preferable that separate representation be sought as this would avoid the situation of the counsel having to discharge him or herself from acting for both the company and the employees.
Where a company is convicted of a criminal offence, the sanction is typically the imposition of a fine. However, depending on the offence in question, the courts may also impose additional sanctions including a compensation order. The SFA further provides that the MAS may, in relation to certain prescribed offences under the SFA, bring an action in the courts in lieu of prosecution for an order for a civil penalty in respect of that offence.
A civil penalty made by the courts under that statute will be payable to the MAS. If this is not paid, the MAS may enforce it as though it was a judgment debt due to it.
Claimants who have suffered loss may also have a right to recover compensation. Insofar as a business is a holder of regulatory licences, these licences may be subject to conditions or the authorising statutes under which they are issued may provide for their revocation in the event of contravention of those conditions or of a particular written law.
The power to revoke a licence is usually a regulatory power that may not be contingent on a judicial finding of wrongdoing. Finally, there may also be consequential penalties that flow from a conviction or even in the absence of a conviction depending on the nature of the misconduct. For example, where the company in question is listed on the SGX-ST, the SGX is empowered under the Listing Manual to impose sanctions on the company such as a private warning, public reprimand, suspension of the trading of its securities, or even a de-listing of the company.
That said, companies should, nevertheless, have in place reasonable compliance programmes. What is a reasonable compliance programme depends on the risk in question that it is intended to address and the costs involved and there is no hard and fast rule as to what any particular programme ought to prescribe. The existence of such compliance programmes may also lower the risk of breaches or the duration of any such breaches which may affect the penalty that may be imposed on the company.
The existence of a compliance programme may also be relevant in one of two stages insofar as criminal charges levied or contemplated to be levied on the company are concerned. First, the existence of a compliance programme may be a relevant factor that a prosecutor may take into account in the exercise of their discretion whether to prosecute or continue to prosecute a company in respect of which a criminal offence has been disclosed.
Second, the existence of a compliance programme may also be relevant after the conviction of the company as a mitigating factor insofar as the appropriate sentence or penalty to be imposed on the company is concerned. It should also be noted that a compliance programme may assist the officers insofar as their liability is concerned in that it may allow them to show that the offence in question was not committed as a result of their consent, connivance or neglect.
Where an officer of a company, especially a senior officer, is accused of corporate wrongdoing, this will inescapably have reputational effects on the company, regardless of whether the company itself is also charged.
How the company manages the continued relations with the individual in question should, therefore, be guided with such considerations in mind. There is no obligation on the part of the company to terminate or discipline an individual who has been subjected to criminal investigation or charged with a criminal offence.
That said, this is subject to the company's internal policies and the view that the company takes with respect to the individual's conduct. For example, most companies would have in place their own disciplinary or investigation procedures, which may apply where there have been allegations of wrongdoing against a particular employee.
This is likely to be governed by the relevant employment agreement between the company and the employee generally contained in an employment handbook that has been incorporated into the employment contract by reference. Where, for example, the evidence that is known to the company suggests there are grounds for taking disciplinary action or for terminating an employee's employment, the company may do so regardless of the outcome of the criminal investigation or prosecution against them.
Needless to say, the company should cooperate with the investigators insofar as they are legally obliged to do so. For example, the authorities may require that the company produce documents or information relevant to their investigations or require that witnesses such as other employees of the company attend to be examined. There is no bar against the company coordinating with the individual's counsel.
This may be a course that the company may wish to take where, for example, the interests of the company and the individual are aligned.
There is also no legal bar against the company paying for the legal fees of the employee. It is also common for a company to purchase directors' and officers' insurance, which may indemnify the legal costs to be incurred by the individual director or officer subject to the criminal allegations.
How such policies may operate, including the scope and extent of coverage, would depend on their precise terms. That said, specific laws have been enacted by the parliament of Singapore to extend the reach of particular Singaporean statutes beyond the Singapore's borders.
Some key examples are discussed below. Prevention of Corruption Act The PCA, which is the principal anti-bribery statute in Singapore, expressly provides that it would apply extraterritorially to citizens of Singapore outside of Singapore.
Section 37 1 of the PCA reads as follows: