Guided by the principle that a bank should be a custodian business imbued with social responsibility, Peter Foo, the president and CEO of United Overseas Bank (Thai), has set himself apart as a banker. With a constant drive to do the right things in the right way, Foo believes that all aspects of banking, including ingenuity and innovation in finance, should be governed by the highest standards of business practice.
Foo, who joined United Overseas Bank (UOB) more than two years ago in its Global Markets and Investment Management unit, was appointed to lead UOB (Thai) in October last year. Drawing from more than 25 years of experience in Asia's banking industry, Foo brings to the helm an approach that is personal, caring and distinctive.
"We have to meet the highest standards in all aspects of our business, be it customer service, loan financing, markets advisory and execution, regulatory compliance or meeting standards in each market," he says. The former CEO of a European bank in Singapore, Foo has made it his goal to "run the business in a prudent yet impactful manner".
"Schooled in a largely Anglo-Saxon banking environment in all my previous careers, what particularly strikes me about UOB is its near obsession with being ethical and sustainable in the long term in its pursuit of commercial success," he says. "It is not just the pursuit of profit per se that is important. For a bank like us, business must be profitable, but more critically, it has to be done right. This underpins our whole business culture."
For Foo, UOB (Thai) should not lose sight of its distinct character as a hybrid bank with "an aspiration for the highest standards" for all its stakeholders. Being a Singapore-owned but locally incorporated bank, UOB (Thai) personifies duality. Foo celebrates this variety in the bank's personality. "The cultural diversity makes us better," he says. "It makes us more culturally aware and sensitive, which is essential if we are running a regional bank."