2017 had seen local banks like OCBC and DBS making strategic acquisitions to grow their wealth management portfolios. Yet UOB is surprisingly quiet on the merger and acquisition front. What is the venerable bank up to? Is merger king, Wee Cho Yaw, plotting something special in 2018?

Once upon a time in Singapore’s banking fraternity, there were four local “Heavenly Kings” – Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB), Overseas Union Bank (OUB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. They are all household names and I believe most Singaporeans have experiences with their bank products or services.

On looking back, the devastating effect of the Asian Financial Crisis in the nineties and the industry liberalization brought forth by the new Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulations changed the banking landscape forever. Through the years, UOB has staved off these challenges and emerged as one of the most powerful forces among its peers…