Chairman emeritus and honorary adviser of UOB Bank, Wee Cho Yaw is a giant of Singapore’s financial industry


Banking veteran Wee Cho Yaw retired from the UOB board in 2018 after 60 years at the helm of the financial giant. He steered UOB to many accomplishments during his tenure as group chairman and CEO; these included expanding its network from 75 to more than 500 branches and offices in 19 countries and territories worldwide, offering various financial services to retail, wholesale and global markets.

Other career highlights include helping UOB to become the first Singaporean bank to open an office in Vietnam in 1992, the acquisition of Overseas Union Bank in 2001, and completing the full acquisition of Far East Bank in 2015.

According to the bank, Wee guided it “through several international and regional financial and economic crises, all the while entrenching a culture based on values of thrift, prudence and vigilance”. Wee was given the roles of chairman emeritus and honorary adviser in recognition of his contributions and to share his experience and insight with the UOB management and board.

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UOB was co-founded by Wee’s father, Wee Khiang Cheng, as United Chinese Bank in 1935. The bank changed its name to United Overseas Bank in 1965.

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