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Morning Coffee: Singapore bankers shed tears as they talk through their troubles

Singapore bankers shed tears as they share their personal problems

It's ok, he works for OCBC

Banking isn’t renowned as an industry in which colleagues like sharing their woes with each other – unless they relate to falling stock prices or compliance breaches. But in Singapore OCBC is encouraging its employees to talk about their personal problems, reports the Business Times.

The bank is running three bi-monthly lunchtime support groups for staff with similar backgrounds or experiences: parents of teenagers, single parents and caregivers. “These are heavy lifting sessions – people cry sometimes,” Cynthia Tan, OCBC head of group human resources, told the Business Times.

Tan says staff often feel guilty when their children have disciplinary issues, “and if we don’t support them…they’re going to sit at home, which is a waste”. One session involved a divorce lawyer giving advice, while during another a successful employee spoke about what it was like growing up with her single mother.

Singaporean banks have recently been upping their game on the HR-policy front in a bid to use training, employee benefits and work-life balance initiatives to help recruit and retain staff in the face of competition from larger global rivals like Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered. In February DBS gave an extra bonus of S$1,000 to 18,000 employees to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday. And earlier this month UOB announced a partnership with Singapore Management University to train business bankers.


Hong Kong regains IPO crown as deal frenzy sets new records in first half. (Wall Street Journal)

Shanghai on edge as stocks extend sell-off. (South China Morning Post)

UBS names Andrew Williamson head of client coverage for Asia Pacific. (Finance Asia)

HSBC falls most since May as Greece weighs on Asian banks. (Bloomberg)

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