POSB Bank

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POSB Bank
Subsidiary
Industry Banking
Founded Singapore, Straits Settlement (1877; 140 years ago (1877))
Headquarters Singapore
Key people
Peter Seah Lim Huat, Chairman
Piyush Gupta, CEO
Products Financial Services
Parent DBS Bank
Website www.posb.com.sg

POSB Bank (or simply known as POSB) is a Singaporean bank offering consumer banking services and is the oldest bank in continuous operation in Singapore. Established on January 1, 1877 as the Post Office Savings Bank,[1] the bank now operates as part of DBS Bank, which acquired the institution and its subsidiaries on November 16, 1998.[2]

Prior to its acquisition, the bank was a major public bank offering low-cost banking services to Singaporeans. DBS Bank attempts to continue this tradition by promising to keep costs low for basic savings accounts, and to exempt children, full-time students below the age of 21 years and full-time National Servicemen from bank charges.

History[edit]

The former General Post Office Building, now occupied by The Fullerton Hotel.

Founded on January 1, 1877 as the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), the bank was part of the Postal Services Department in the Straits Settlements and was set up by the colonial government to provide banking services for lower-income citizens.[1] Headquartered in the General Post Office Building, in Raffles Place, the bank was under the jurisdiction of the Postmaster-General, with bank policies overseen by a group of trustees appointed by the Governor of the Straits Settlement.[3] From 1877 to 1940, the bank had a steady growth of accounts opened increasing from 211 to 57,000 while total deposits increased from 19,862 to 14.3 million Straits dollars during the same period.[1]

Following the end of World War II and the dissolvement of the Straits Settlement, the 1948 Savings Bank Ordinance came into effect and in 1949, POSB was separated from the other post office savings banks in Malaya, with the bank's assets and liabilities split between Singapore and the Federated Malay States.[4] After the separation from 1949 to 1955, total deposits of the bank increased from M$27.4 million to M$57.6 million and in 1951, the bank had its 100,000th depositor.[1]

Decline and revival[edit]

Reaching its peak in 1955, the bank had a slow decline from 1957 to 1966, with total deposits falling below the M$50 million mark to M$37.4 million.[5] After Singapore's independence in 1965, the country went through a rapid industrialisation programme. To develop the infrastructure of the infant city-state, then Minister for Finance, Goh Keng Swee, set up a savings bank committee (was later reconstituted into a permanent advisory committee within the bank) to promote domestic savings through POSB to provide the government with a non-inflationary source of funds for national development.[5] Following the recommendations of the savings bank committee, withdrawal limits of accounts were raised from S$200 once every seven days to S$500 once every three days, longer banking hours, exempting interest earned on POSB savings accounts from income tax, and accepting non-Romanised signatures for operating accounts.[6] Savings competitions were also organised among all government and government-aided schools with the incentive of a POSB lucky draw to encourage students to open an account with the bank. From 1966 to 1969, the number of new accounts opened increased from 10,596 to 174,506 with deposits totalling S$57.7 million in 1969.[6]

Statutory board, new services and facilities[edit]

The former POSB Centre, headquarters of POSB in the 1980s, now known as the NTUC Trade Union House.

In 1971, it was announced that the bank would become a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications. The Post Office Savings Bank Bill was passed in Parliament on July 30, 1971 and the bank ceased to be a branch of the Postal Services Department in 1972 after the 1971 Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore Act came into effect in that year.[7] In 1974, the bank was transferred to become part of the Ministry of Finance; Credit POSB Pte Ltd was established in the same year to provide custom-tailored loans relating to HDB housing ownership.

By 1976, POSB had one million depositors, while deposits crossed the S$1 billion mark. In 1980, it introduced the Passcard, and set-up the Principal Branch. In 1981, its first Cash-On-Line ATM opened at the Newton Branch. In 1983, its headquarters were shifted to the new 8-storey complex, the POSBank Centre at Bras Basah Road. In 1984, the current account facility was introduced, and by 1986, deposits crossed the S$10 billion mark.

Acquisition by DBS Bank[edit]

The Post Office Savings Bank was renamed as POSBank in March 1990. It was subsequently fully acquired by DBS Bank on 16 November 1998 for S$1.6 billion; at the same time, ceased to exist as a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance. POSBank still operates one of the highest number of bank branches in Singapore, especially in the suburban neighbourhoods, and operates the highest number of ATM outlets throughout Singapore. The integration of both banks allowed customers of either bank to share the facilities; DBS Bank depositors may use the Cash Deposit Machine installed island-wide in POSBank branches and vice versa.

Banking services[edit]

Deposit accounts[edit]

POSB Bank deposit and cash withdrawal machines located at Bugis MRT Station.

Savings[edit]

  • POSBkids Account
  • POSB eSavings
  • POSB Passbook Savings Account

Current[edit]

  • POSB Current Account

Fixed Deposits[edit]

Loans and Mortgages[edit]

  • Home loans

Credit Cards[edit]

  • POSB Everyday Card

Debit Cards[edit]

  • PAssion POSB Debit Card
  • POSB ACTIVE Card
  • POSB GO! Debit MasterCard

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Consulton Research Bureau. (1977). The first hundred years of the Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore. Singapore: The Post Office Savings Bank, pp. 10–11. (Call No.: RSING 332.22095957 CON). Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "Singapore Statutes Online - 237 - Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore (Transfer of Undertakings and Dissolution) Act". Singapore Statues (Government of Singapore). Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ The postmaster-general’s report for 1877. (1878, June 8). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Singapore. Supplement to the Laws of the Colony of Singapore. (1949). Post Office Savings Bank Ordinance, 1948 (Ord. 38 of 1948). Singapore: [s.n.], pp. 258–266. (Call No.: RCLOS 348.5957 SSLCS – [HWE]). Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Goh, K. S. (1977). The practice of economic growth. Singapore: Federal Publications, pp. 8–11. (Call No.: RSING 330.95957 GOH). Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Annual report of the Singapore Post Office Savings Bank, 1966. (1968). Singapore: Govt. Printer (Call No.: RCLOS 332.22 SIN). Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (1971, December 10). The Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore Act, 1971 (S 311/1971). Singapore: [s.n.], pp. 1054–1055. (Call No.: RSING 348.5957 SGGSLS). Retrieved August 22, 2016.

External links[edit]