Friday, February 11, 2011

Investment bankers' body to merge with ABS

INVESTMENT bankers will have more opportunity to make their views heard thanks to an acronym-crunching merger announced yesterday.

It involves the Singapore Investment Banking Association (Siba) being folded into the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the finance sector's lead body. The move was announced yesterday at the annual ABS Chinese New Year lunch.

It will mean members of the investment banking body can expect a bigger voice to represent their interests, a wider network of members and contacts and reduced costs once both groups streamline their activities.

ABS chairman Wee Ee Cheong said: 'We welcome this move, as it will benefit the industry. The combined membership and resources will enable the ABS to more effectively represent the interests of the banking industry, create synergies and further add value to all members.'

Siba chairman George Lee said in a statement that certain investment banking activities are already undertaken by existing ABS members.

'At the same time, there are financial institutions with offices in Singapore but licensed as pure investment (not commercial) banks in their home countries. Hence these institutions are not ABS members. With the latest development, they will all come under the ABS roof,' he added.

Siba will be dissolved and its activities taken over by ABS during the second half of the year. Operational details will be worked out over the next few months.

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