Taylor Swift
The uplift in card fees had contributed to UOB’s net fee income rising 14% for the quarter. Image Credit: AFP

Singapore: Taylor Swift’s tie-up with the third-largest bank in Singapore propelled the lender’s credit card fees to a record in the third quarter, the latest example of the pop star’s extraordinary economic heft.

Fees from United Overseas Bank Ltd.’s credit card business jumped 89 per cent from a year ago to a record S$104 million ($76 million) in the quarter, the lender said Thursday, as it reported an expanded profit. Card fees accounted for nearly a fifth of net fee income in the three months, a bigger portion compared to more than 10 per cent in the same period last year.

The uplift in card fees - along with higher incomes related to loans and wealth - had contributed to UOB’s net fee income rising 14 per cent for the quarter. The bank is expecting a double-digit increase in fee income next year, CEO Wee Ee Cheong told reporters at a post-results briefing.

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In July, UOB cardholders enjoyed an exclusive presale for tickets to Swift’s six shows in Singapore, sparking massive demand that led to a jump in credit card applications. The bank is now partnering with English Grammy Award-winning singer Ed Sheeran to offer cardholders similar perks for his concerts in Southeast Asia next year.

“If you have a UOB credit card it’s a small advantage,” Wee said, referring to access to Swift’s concerts through the presale tickets. “There’s more to come. Look at Ed Sheeran - it’s the same thing,” he added.

The lender is seeking more lifestyle-related partnerships. New-to-bank customers acquired in the first nine months of the year was 28 per cent higher from a year ago, thanks to digital and lifestyle offerings that include concerts, food and travels, according to UOB.