SINGAPORE, Feb 21 — OCBC will give a one-off payout of S$1,000 (RM 3,571.44) each to about 4,600 junior employees in Singapore to help them “better cope with rising cost-of-living concerns”, the bank announced yesterday (February 20).

The recipients, which include new entrants to the workforce and unionised employees, make up about 40 per cent of the bank’s employees in Singapore.

The payout is part of a financial support measure totalling close to S$9 million for 14,000 junior employees globally who work across OCBC and its subsidiaries, including Bank of Singapore, OCBC Securities and Great Eastern Holdings.

For its employees outside of Singapore, the bank did not specify how much the payout would be, but it said in its media release that it “takes into consideration the respective local market conditions”.


OCBC said in response to TODAY’s queries that junior employees in Hong Kong would receive HK$5,400 (S$930) each.

Other than this one-off support, the bank said that it has several schemes to support its employees’ career development and tend to their overall welfare and personal growth.

“We are constantly expanding the breadth of our programmes to reskill and upskill our people. We are investing S$30 million over the period of 2023-2025 in staff development and mobility,” said Ernest Phang, OCBC’s managing director for group human resources.


The bank added that the 14,000 employees represent more than 40 per cent of OCBC Group’s overall headcount in its 19 markets.

OCBC’s move comes after DBS Group announced earlier this month that it had set aside S$15 million in its 2023 expenses to allocate a one-time bonus to junior employees to help them cope with higher costs of living.

Junior employees comprise half of DBS Group’s total headcount of about 40,000 employees.

In October last year, Singapore’s National Wages Council (NWC) recommended that companies help their employees cope with the country’s rising cost of living by giving them a one-off special lump sum payment — with heavier weightage for lower — to middle-income employees.

The NWC, a body comprising employer, trade union and government representatives, made a similar recommendation in 2008 and 2011 when inflation was high.

OCBC said on Tuesday that core inflation in Singapore, which excludes accommodation and private transports costs, is expected to decrease more gradually only towards the last quarter of 2024.

Lee Hwee Boon, OCBC’s head of group human resources, said that while the one-off payment “may not be large”, she hoped that it would “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,” said Lee. — TODAY