DBS starts Wealth Chat service using WhatsApp, WeChat platforms

Singapore • DBS Group Holdings Ltd, South-East Asia’s biggest bank, unveiled a service that will allow wealthy clients to interact with their relationship managers on WeChat and WhatsApp.

The Singapore-based lender will begin registering interested clients for the service known as Wealth Chat, DBS said yesterday in an emailed statement.

It will initially provide content such as investment reports and research insights, with services such as trade placement to be added progressively next year, the bank said.

Banks around the world have been grappling with the issue of communicating with clients using mobile messaging platforms because they can allow employees to circumvent officially monitored phone and email systems. A former Jefferies Group LLC banker was fined in the UK last year for sharing confidential information on WhatsApp.

DBS said records of chats between its relationship managers and clients will be archived and the service will meet compliance standards.

“Our aim is to provide banking services that are embedded in our customers’ everyday lives, while maintaining client privacy and keeping to our rigorous security requirements,” said Tan Su Shan, DBS’ group head of consumer banking and wealth management.

“With DBS Wealth Chat, we can now meet both the communication needs of our clients and regulatory requirements.”

DBS developed Wealth Chat in partnership with regulatory-technology start-up FinChat. WeChat, which DBS said has close to a billion users, is owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd, while more than 1.5 billion people use Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp. — Bloomberg