Tat Lee Bank was founded by Chinese migrant Goh Tjoei Kok in 1973. Having built his fortune through rubber trading in Indonesia, Goh moved to Singapore after World War II and set up the Tat Lee trading company, which primarily dealt with the iron and steel industry.
Goh invested S$36 million to set up Tat Lee Bank, which officially opened in February 1975 – in line with the government’s promotion to make Singapore an international finance hub.
Keppel Bank was formed in 1990 through the acquisition of Asia Commercial Bank by Keppel Corporation. Keppel Bank was then merged with TatLee Bank in 1998 to form the Keppel TatLee Bank. The bank formed an alliance with Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in 1999, in which AIB was given a 24.9% stake in the enlarged financial institution.
Keppel TatLee was the first Singapore bank to offer loans to technopreneurs (a buzz word back then), where an initial sum of S$50 million was to be disbursed through the TechFinancing Centre. The venture was a collaboration with TDM Management and had the support of the National Science and Technology Board.
In 2001, Keppel TatLee Bank was privatised and became a subsidiary of Keppel Capital Holdings. It was then acquired by OCBC Bank in 2001 and integrated into their operations in 2002.