Just watched the live broadcast of the AGM. Just going to write briefly on what left an impression on me.

稳中求进 (Seeking progress in stability)

CEO Wee shared the above Chinese proverb when answering a question on the outlook. And I think that basically sum up the culture of UOB. My perception is that while the management are made up of characters of different personalities, they are prudent when making decisions as shown from their responses to the various questions.

Compared to the CLCT AGM, the questions asked are of better quality and I did learn something new about the bank. The following are what I remembered and not the exact words used in the answers.

  1. UOB technology platform (including regional one) is based in Singapore. They built it up over pass 10 to 15 years and contributed to the acquisition of Citi acquisition.
  2. Their marked to market loss while high in absolute value, is relatively lower because they only started to go into treasury bills and government bonds in 2022 when interest rate was at 3%. Average maturity is 3 years but loss is already decreasing and might even breakeven by end of year, depending on interest rate movement.
  3. The bank has a lot of liquidity. $42b (page 204 of annual report) which is $12b more than FY2021. I like what the Chief Risk Officer said. Liquidity is just one part of the equation; what is also important is to ensure that customers have confidence in the bank. Diversified customers assets provide another safety layer.
  4. Preferred to have dividend policy in terms of percentage (50%) instead of absolute value (with reference to DBS and I agreed to that). CEO highlighted the need to balance between declaring dividend and growth. Again, he highlighted the Citi acquisition. So in this way shareholders can get both dividend and capital gain.
  5. Acknowledged that customers’ experience hadn’t been the greatest from the high demand of fixed deposit placement and they will continue to improve on that based on feedback.

I did enjoy the AGM and yes for those who were there, there was a reception after that.