UOB Bank Singapore

8:00 pm Everyday Life, Frustrations

I have banked with UOB in Singapore for many years, and have generally been happy with the service.  One exception was last year, when I sold some investments in the US and transferred them to my Singapore UOB account, and then went to invest those funds with UOB, I was told that I was not entitled to certain offers because it was not “new funds” being transferred to my account.

However, I am being really frustrated by UOBs policies now.  I moved to Papua New Guinea six months ago, and wanted to keep part of my portfolio based out of Singapore (in addition to other investments I keep in the US and Australia).  I had a term investment (six figure sum) with UOB that matured today, and wanted it credited to my cheque account so that I can make some capital purchases in Papua New Guinea, and reinvest a significant amount in some other investment with UOB.

So I contacted UOB a week ago, to make arrangements.  I had to contact my personal banker several times to get any update, and I was finally told today that I have to wait for them to send me original forms, which I then fill in and sign, and return to Singapore.  It has taken almost 5 working days to get this final response from UOB.  What makes it worse, is that they are not willing to forward the documents electronically.  They will not send or receive electronic forms or documents.

I did ask my personal banker on Wednesday last week (almost a week ago) and provided him with my temporary address in PNG (as I was travelling at the time), so that he could send me the forms by courier if he thought that there was no other option, but that didn’t transpire.  Now, one week later, he is asking for my address to send original documents.

I cannot work with a bank that is so difficult to deal with remotely.  As you can see on my web site, I travel extensively, and often in Third World Countries.

Singapore is a wonderful country, and I hope to work there again in the future.  It has a great IT infrastructure and encourages the use of technology at all levels.  Unfortunately UOB is not keeping pace with the country in which it operates.

I have looked at alternatives in Singapore, and have shortlisted two banks that may meet my requirements.  I will post my findings in a few days.  If all goes well, I will transfer my entire Singapore Portfolio to another bank.

UOB has just added itself to my reperoire of “how not to do customer service.”  It is a pertinent illustration of some key failings by major companies that I can use in my classes, workshops and presentations.

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