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OCBC Headquarters, Beach Street, George Town, Penang

The OCBC Headquarters at Beach Street, George Town houses OCBC's main branch on Penang Island.

The OCBC Headquarters at Beach Street, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the main Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) branch on Penang Island. The largest Singaporean bank, one of the world's strongest, also owns three adjacent colonial buildings - the 1886 Building, the OCBC Building two doors away and the Kongsoon House three doors away. All three adjacent buildings have been converted into the bank's Premier Banking Complex.

Compared to many other banks along Beach Street, this six-storey building is relatively modern. It was built in the 1960s and has been serving as OCBC's main Penang Island branch since then.

 History

OCBC Building, Beach Street, George Town, Penang (old)

The OCBC Building can be seen to the right in this 1930s picture of Beach Street.

The Ho Hong Bank, a Malayan bank based in Singapore, had opened its Penang branch at Beach Street in 1917. This was followed by another Malayan bank, the Oversea-Chinese Bank, which opened its Penang branch within the Kongsoon House at Beach Street in 1920.

The following year, the Oversea-Chinese Bank moved to the site where the OCBC Building now stands.

The Great Depression in 1929 severely impacted these banks. As the Oversea-Chinese Bank could not stay afloat, its management decided to amalgamate both the Oversea-Chinese Bank and the Ho Hong Bank. Later, the Chinese Commercial Bank was also invited into the scheme. The talks led to the merger of these three banks to form the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) in 1932.

OCBC Building, George Town, Penang

The OCBC Building that once housed OCBC's main branch on Penang Island is now part of the bank's Premium Banking Complex.

By 1934, just as the global economic recovery was underway, OCBC reopened the former Oversea-Chinese Bank branch at Beach Street. Four years later, the original Oversea-Chinese Bank building was replaced with the current OCBC Building.

In the 1960s, the OCBC branch was relocated from the OCBC Building to the present six-storey headquarters just two doors away. The newer building has been OCBC's main branch on Penang Island ever since.

Today, OCBC is the largest Singaporean bank, with branches all over Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. With over US$300 billion in assets, OCBC has consistently been ranked one of the world's strongest banks.

 Opening Hours

Monday - Friday :

  • Banking hours : 0930 hours - 1600 hours
  • Personal banking : 0930 hours - 1700 hours

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Langdon, M. A Guide to George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precints. Penang : George Town World Heritage Incorporated.
  2. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/banking/ocbc-named-worlds-3rd-strongest-bank-dbs-and-uob-also-among-top-10
  3. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/ocbc-main-branch.htm
  4. https://www.ocbc.com.my/assets/pdf/Media/2014/November%2014/Premier%20Banking%20%20Penang.pdf
  5. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singfreepressb19321230-1.2.113.aspx
  6. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/history/events/61c89041-393a-4466-b638-a62d01286665

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