OCBC to Offer S$9M Financial Aid to Junior Staff Worldwide Amid Rising Living Costs

OCBC to Offer S$9M Financial Aid to Junior Staff Worldwide Amid Rising Living Costs

by February 20, 2024

OCBC Bank plans to distribute a one-time financial aid package totaling nearly S$9 million to its junior employees worldwide, aimed at alleviating the impact of escalating living costs. The disbursements are scheduled between February and March 2024.

This initiative is expected to benefit approximately 14,000 employees across the bank’s various subsidiaries, including the Bank of Singapore, OCBC Securities, and Great Eastern Holdings, which constitutes over 40% of its global workforce spread across 19 markets.

In Singapore alone, 4,600 junior staff members are slated to receive S$1,000 each. This group, comprising newcomers to the workforce and unionised staff, represents about 40% of OCBC’s Singapore-based employees.

This move comes as Singapore’s core inflation rate, which omits costs related to accommodation and private transportation, is projected to decline more slowly, expectedly reaching stability only in the last quarter of 2024.

The Singapore National Wages Council had earlier, in October 2023, advised local companies to extend additional financial support to their employees to help manage the country’s surging cost of living, a suggestion that was later endorsed by the government. This advice highlighted the importance of prioritising aid for employees on the lower to middle-income spectrum.

For OCBC’s international workforce, the financial support will be adjusted according to the economic conditions prevalent in their respective markets.

Beyond this financial assistance, OCBC will provide its employees with various resources to enhance their financial literacy, including informational articles, virtual talks, and workshops led by the bank’s in-house wealth advisors.

The bank also regularly reviews its employees’ built-in wage increases and variable payments to ensure that they commensurate with the bank’s performance and employees’ contribution.

Lee Hwee Boon

Lee Hwee Boon

Lee Hwee Boon, OCBC’s Head of Group Human Resources said,

“The amount, for each of the 14,000 who will benefit, may not be large. However, we hope that this can help colleagues defray concerns on the rising cost of living. Beyond this, we recognise that the long-term solution is to empower colleagues to take charge of their own financial well-being – good financial planning can make a big difference amid inflationary pressures. To that end, we offer a range of resources and regular workshops to help strengthen their financial preparedness.”