Bank of Singapore, the private banking unit of OCBC, has received an investment company licence to set up a wealth management subsidiary in Luxembourg. The move is said to be a first for a private bank in Singapore.

The new subsidiary, called BOS Wealth Management Europe Société Anonyme, is slated to become operational in the third quarter of this year and officially launch in the second quarter of 2019.

The business will enable Bank of Singapore to provide private banking and investment advisory services to its UHNW and HNW clients in the European Economic Area and UK.

At present, the bank tends to its clients in Europe from its Singapore base and the London office of its parent.

The Luxembourg unit will be led by Anthony Adriano Simcic, who joined Bank of Singapore in March this year.

Simcic formerly served as the head of private banking at HSBC Private Bank in Luxembourg.

In the new role, he will report to Bank of Singapore global market head for Singapore, Malaysia and International Olivier Denis.

Bank of Singapore CEO Bahren Shaari said: “Since the global financial crisis of 2008, European high net worth individuals and family offices have shown increasing interest in Asia, and especially in Singapore, as an alternative wealth hub. As a Singapore headquartered private bank with deep knowledge of and extensive insights into Asia, Bank of Singapore has been a natural choice for them.

“Our ability to help them with their investments in Asia – by extending a broad array of commercial banking capabilities across OCBC Bank’s regional and international network, on top of best-in-class private banking solutions – makes for an attractive value proposition.”

The Global Financial Centres Index published by market intelligence firm Z/Yen ranks Luxembourg as the largest investment fund centre in Europe and the second largest worldwide. The region oversees over €4 trillion in assets.