United Overseas Bank

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United Overseas Bank Limited
Holding company
(Public limited company)
Traded as SGX: U11
Industry Investment banking, Financial services
Founded July 6, 1935; 80 years ago (1935-07-06)
Founder Wee Kheng Chiang
Headquarters Raffles Place, Singapore
Number of locations
500 offices across 19 countries[1]
Area served
Key people
Wee Cho Yaw (Chairman)
Wee Ee Cheong (Chief Executive Officer)
Increase S$2.569.000.000 (2006)
Number of employees
Slogan "United for Growth"
Website www.uobgroup.com
United Overseas Bank's main branch, located at the scenic UOB Plaza

United Overseas Bank Limited (commonly known as UOB; previously known as United Chinese Bank or UCB; simplified Chinese: 大华银行有限公司; traditional Chinese: 大華銀行有限公司; pinyin: Dàhuá Yínháng Yǒuxìan Gōngsī; is a major banking organisation headquartered in Singapore, with branches mostly found in most South-east Asian countries. Founded in 1935 by Sarawak businessman Wee Kheng Chiang, the bank has 68 branches in Singapore and a network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America[1]



On August 6, 1935, businessman Wee Kheng Chiang, together with six other friends, established United Chinese Bank (UCB). On October 1935, UCB opened for business in the three story Bonham Building. Thirty years later, the company's name was changed to United Overseas Bank.[2]


In 1971, UOB acquired Chung Khiaw Bank from the Slater Walker Group and the Aw family.[3][4]
In 1973, UOB acquired Lee Wah Bank.

In 1984, the company acquired Far Eastern Bank.

In 2001, UOB acquired Overseas Union Bank Limited (OUB) in a takeover deal estimated to be worth S$10 billion.

Key people[edit]

In August 2012, Wee Cho Yaw, the company's chairman and the son of the company's founder, announced his plans to step down in 2013.[5] Wee will be replaced by Hsieh Fu Hua, the former Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Exchange.[5]

Mobile banking[edit]

In December 2011, United Overseas Bank launched its free mobile UOB Mobile application. Mobile Cash, a key feature of this application, allows all UOB customers to send cash to any registered recipient who can withdraw the money from more than 600 UOB ATMs in Singapore. Initially only available on the Apple Appstore, the application soon became available to users of Android and Blackberry smartphones.[6]


In February 2012, several employees of United Overseas Bank came under fire for dressing up in traditional Bollywood themed Indian costumes and painting their faces using SAF camo green during a staff dinner organised by the company. A spokesman for the bank said that the employees did not intend to offend or discriminate, although he also mentioned that they would be counselled.[7]

Subsidiary banks[edit]

  • Far Eastern Bank (Singapore)
  • Overseas Union Bank (Singapore)
  • Lee Wah Bank (Singapore)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Our Corporate File". United Overseas Bank Limited. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  2. ^ "United Overseas Bank Heritage Trails Singapore. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew. "SPEECH BY SENIOR MINISTER MR. LEE KUAN YEW AT THE OPENING OF THE UNITED OVERSEAS BANK (UOB) PLAZA ON SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST 1995" (PDF). Nas.gov.sg. National Archives of Singapore. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Harding, John; Harding, May Chu (2001). Escape from paradise : [(From Third World to First)]. Phoenix: IDKPress. ISBN 0-9710929-0-7. 
  5. ^ a b "UOB Chairman to step down next year". TODAY. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "UOB launches mobile banking app". Financial News Publishing Limited. December 19, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ "UOB staff get backlash for 'blackface' photos". AsiaOne. February 12, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]