Less than 5 per cent of these deposits came from Standard Chartered, with the remaining from other banks, chief executive officer Dwaipayan Sadhu told reporters on Monday (May 29).
In Singapore, the three local banks still make up the lion’s share of local deposits, with DBS having a deposit base of S$529 billion as of the first quarter of 2023. OCBC has S$367 billion while UOB holds about S$374 billion in deposits.
Trust Bank has also acquired more than 500,000 retail customers in its first seven months, with referrals accounting for more than 70 per cent of the new sign-ups, its CEO said.
This is a “big benefit” to the digital bank’s path to profitability, given how its customer acquisition cost is seven times lower than other banks in Singapore, he added.
The bank’s customer demographics mirror the Singapore population, with more than 10 per cent of customers over 65 years old – a trend that is “quite unique” for a digital bank, Mr Sadhu said.
He acknowledged that the extensive customer base of FairPrice Group played a key role in helping it to crack the senior market. Singapore’s well-established digital infrastructure, such as SingPass, and a high level of digital adoption that was given a boost by the COVID-19 pandemic have also contributed to its “very positive start”.
Trust Bank is aiming to become Singapore’s fourth-largest retail bank in terms of customer numbers by the end of next year. It is also targeting to break even in 2025.
The digital bank is 60 per cent owned by Standard Chartered and 40 per cent by NTUC’s enterprise arm. It holds a full bank licence, which means it is able to offer services similar to those of conventional banks such as having physical ATMs.
Its competitors include GXS Bank, which is backed by Grab and Singtel GXS Bank, and MariBank which is owned by tech giant Sea.
Both GXS and MariBank hold “digital full bank” licences which permit the offering of online-only banking services to retail and corporate customers. These retail digital banks are also subject to a cap of S$50 million in deposits during the entry phase.
Trust Bank said it is confident that its growth rate can be sustained despite market competition and lingering economic uncertainties.
For one, the depth of NTUC’s membership programme of more than 2.4 million customers presents opportunities for growth.
The digital bank’s proposition is also “not based on one-time offers or a high acquisition gift or a promotional interest rate”, said Mr Sadhu.
Its positioning on daily savings which help with the cost of living, such as earning rebates and reward points at FairPrice supermarkets and other partner merchants, will remain “relevant and highly sustainable” in an uncertain macroeconomic environment, the CEO told CNA.
Beyond that, Trust Bank is hoping to get more customers on board through its offerings, which currently include deposit accounts, digital credit cards and family personal accident insurance.
With travel back in demand as borders reopen, the lender announced on Monday the launch of its travel insurance product underwritten by Income.
Mr Sadhu said Trust Bank also tries to solve existing customer pain points with its fully digital service. This includes allowing customers to have digital supplementary cards to share their credit cards in real-time, set spending limits and track expenses.
Moving forward, the digital bank intends to introduce instant loan products, enable GIRO payment services and other in-app self-services, as well as expand its insurance offerings.
“The continued growth of clients and the new products that we are introducing gives us a very solid footing for meeting both (the goals to be the) fourth largest bank by next year, as well as be profitable by 2025,” Mr Sadhu said.