Bank of Singapore, the private banking arm of OCBC, has officially opened a branch in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), UAE.

The new branch will employ 75 staff, and will be headed by Kirit Chauhan.

Chauhan joined Bank of Singapore in 2014 in the role of market head for Middle East, Sub-continent and Africa. He will report to Bank of Singapore global market head for Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, Sub-Continent and Middle East Derrick Tan.

Chahan previously held various senior roles, including managing director of India offshore team at JP Morgan, and head of origination and client coverage in Qatar at Standard Chartered Bank.

“This is an exciting time for the wealth management industry in Middle East. There is clearly potential for this market to develop and flourish. Having a branch in DIFC, the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, offers Bank of Singapore an ideal platform to tap on this potential and expand our business further,” Chauhan said.

Bank of Singapore has been present in the Middle East since more than two decades. It established its representative office in Dubai in 1996 prior to the establishment of the DIFC in 2004.

Bank of Singapore CEO Bahren Shaari said: “This is an important milestone for Bank of Singapore. The Middle East, specifically the UAE, has always been an integral part of our business. The setting up of this branch in DIFC further strengthens our franchise and commitment to serve the burgeoning population of ultra-high and high-net worth individuals in this region.”