Bank Pictet & Cie Asia (BPCAL), the Singaporean unit of Swiss private bank Pictet, has secured a wholesale bank licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

BPCAL, which has been serving as a merchant bank till now, will upgrade to a wholesale bank from 2 April 2018.

The authorisation will allow the firm’s Singaporean subsidiary to offer Singapore dollar services such as deposits and loans.

The group has been present in Singapore since 1995. In 2012, the firm secured a full banking licence from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Pictet wealth management Asia CEO Claude Haberer said: “Our upgraded licence underlines the growing importance of Singapore for the Pictet Group in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s a natural step, coming just six years after receiving a full banking license in Hong Kong.”

BPCAL CEO and head of Pictet Wealth Management South Asia Dominique Jooris added: “We see great potential in the region for wealth management clients seeking a personalised service, long-term relationships and independent investment advice.”

The latest move comes shortly after Pictet’s appointment of Boris Collardi as its new partner. Collardi previously served as the CEO at Julius Baer.