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OCBC’s Tsien: “The pandemic will have lasting impact on the way we work”
In this CEO Perspectives piece, OCBC Bank Group CEO Samuel Tsien shares his thoughts on the pandemic’s unprecedented economic shock and the long-term impact of this crisis on people, businesses and industries.

April 27, 2020 | Samuel Tsien
  • Governments’ and central banks’ extraordinary measures to combat COVID-19’s economic blow will help arrest an otherwise deeper recession
  • The financial sector plays a key role in supporting government initiatives and helping customers ride through this difficult period
  • The pandemic will change how people work and how businesses operate for good

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unprecedented economic shock. With stresses on global supply chains and increased volatility in financial markets, extraordinary measures have been taken to address not just a health emergency, but also a deep global economic crisis. 

In Singapore, even the government’s budget worth $42 billion (SGD 59.9 billion) may not be enough to prevent a recession. Our forecast for Singapore’s economy is a 3% contraction, which could go even higher to a mid-single digit contraction. Hong Kong will report another year of recession, and slower growths are also expected in our other core markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

Countries have introduced multifaceted measures to support the economies, including financial assistance for businesses and individuals. The financial sector in these countries plays a key role in supporting these initiatives and other relief measures to help customers ride through this difficult period. 

Ensuring the safety of staff and customers is paramount

In this time of crisis, our priority is to ensure that our staff and customers stay safe and healthy. From the start of the outbreak, our branches and offices implemented temperature screening...

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