DBS Bank

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DBS Bank
Traded asSGX: D05
Founded1968; 51 years ago (1968)
HeadquartersMarina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, Singapore
Area served
East Asia -
South East Asia
Key people
Peter Seah Lim Huat
Piyush Gupta
ProductsFinancial services
ServicesRetail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, wealth management, credit cards, finance and insurance
RevenueIncrease US$10.28 billion (2016)
  • Increase SGD6.517 billion (2016)
  • Increase SGD6.037 billion (2015)
Decrease US$3.07 billion (2016)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$333.48 billion (2016)[2]
Number of employees
Increase 24,174 (2017) [3]
SubsidiariesDBS Bank India

DBS Bank is a multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 Marina Bay, Singapore. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted in July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a regional bank.[4]

The bank was set up by the Government of Singapore in July 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board. Today, its branches numbering more than 100 can be found island-wide. DBS Bank is the largest bank in South East Asia by assets and among the larger banks in Asia, with total assets of S$518 billion as at 31 Dec 2017. It has market-dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore and Hong Kong. Its largest and controlling shareholder is Temasek Holdings. The bank's strong capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings by Standard & Poor's and Moody's that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, earned it Global Finance's "Safest Bank in Asia" accolade for six consecutive years, from 2009 to 2015.[5][6] The Bank was also awarded the Best Digital Bank in the World in the year 2016 by Euromoney.[7] With operations in 17 markets, the bank has a regional network spanning more than 250 branches and over 1,100 ATMs across 50 cities.[6]

Global Finance named DBS as the world’s best bank for 2018.[8]


Established on 16 July 1968 by the Government of Singapore to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board,[9] the bank's main purpose was to provide loans and financial aid to the manufacturing and processing industries and to help establish and upgrade existing industries in Singapore. In 1960, the Singapore government invited a United Nations (UN) industrial survey mission to assess the economical situation in Singapore and to come up with an industrialisation programme for the city.[10] The proposal included setting up a development bank, together with an economic body to attract foreign investments and provide financing and managing the industrial estates. The bank was incorporated in July 1968 and began operations in September of the same year.[9]

Acquisition of POSB Bank[edit]

Formerly known as Post Office Savings Bank, it was established on 1 January 1877 in the General Post Office Building, in Raffles Place by the British Colonial Government in Singapore.[11]

By 1976, POSB had one million depositors, while deposits crossed the S$1 billion mark. The bank was then renamed POSB Bank in 1990, before being acquired by DBS Bank on 16 November 1998 for S$1.6 billion, giving it a dominant market share with over four million customers. POSB Bank still operates one of the highest number of bank branches in Singapore, especially in the suburban neighbourhoods, and operates the highest number of ATM outlets throughout Singapore. The integration of both banks allowed customers of either bank to share the facilities; DBS Bank depositors may use the Cash Deposit Machine installed islandwide in POSBank branches, likewise for POSB Bank depositors.


The ten largest shareholders as of 28 February 2017[12] are:

Name of Shareholders No. of Shareholdings %*
1. Citibank Nominees Singapore Pte Ltd 508,157,126 19.99
2. Maju Holdings Pte Ltd 458,899,869 18.05
3. DBS Nominees Pte Ltd 386,196,329 15.19
4. Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd 284,145,301 11.18
5. DBSN Services Pte Ltd 244,851,872 9.63
6. HSBC (Singapore) Nominees Pte Ltd 164,547,907 6.47
7. United Overseas Bank Nominees Pte Ltd 63,140,475 2.48
8. Raffles Nominees (Pte) Ltd 47,021,255 1.85
9. BNP Paribas Securities Services 33,504,104 1.32
10 Lee Pineapple Company Pte Ltd 19,450,000 0.76

* Percentage is calculated based on the total number of issued ordinary shares, excluding treasury shares

Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd, a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance, is deemed to be interested in all the ordinary shares held by Maju. In addition, Temasek is deemed to be interested in 4,449,781 ordinary shares in which its other subsidiaries and associated companies have or are deemed to have an interest pursuant to Section 4 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289.

International operations[edit]

DBS corporate headquarters at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 in Singapore.

DBS has branches and offices in mainland China, Dubai, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom and United States.


Mainland China[edit]

Strategically located in the key trade and financial hubs of mainland China, DBS has a network of full service branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Dongguan, Nanning and Hangzhou; and representative offices in Fuzhou which provide a comprehensive range of commercial and corporate banking services. In December 2006, DBS Bank received approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to prepare for local incorporation in Mainland China. DBS is the only Singapore bank among nine foreign banks to receive this approval. In 2010, it also became the first Singapore bank to issue UnionPay debit cards in mainland China.

Hong Kong SAR[edit]

DBS started its operations in Great Hong Kong in 1999 by acquiring Kwong On Bank from Leung's family & Japanese-based Fuji Bank, and renamed it as DBS Kwong On Bank Limited. It acquired Dao Heng Bank (and its subsidiary Overseas Trust Bank) in 2001. The three banks were later merged under the trading name of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.


DBS first established a presence in Taiwan in 1983. In May 2008, DBS integrated Taiwan's Bowa Bank into its operations after acquiring the "good bank assets" in February. There are 40 distribution outlets across the country, half of which are based in Taipei.


Headquartered in the commercial capital of Mumbai, DBS operates via a network of 12 bank branches across India in Bangalore, Chennai, Cuddalore, Hyderabad, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Moradabad, Mumbai, Nashik, New Delhi, Pune, Salem and Surat.[13] DBS India had a 37.5% stake in DBS Cholamandalam Finance, a non-bank financial institution, in April 2009, it transferred its shares to the parent company Tube Investments of India Limited, thus terminating its shared holder agreement in Cholamandalam DBS .


DBS has a 99%-owned subsidiary, PT Bank DBS Indonesia, with 39 branches and sub-branches in 11 cities.

On April 2012, DBS announced that it was planning to buy over a majority stake in Bank Danamon from Temasek Holdings.[14] Initial reactions to the proposed purchase in Indonesia were cautious with most commentators saying that the deal was expected to be approved but that government regulators would doubtless wish to look at some of the details, including reciprocity from Singapore policy makers, quite closely before making a final decision.[15]

On 31 July 2013, DBS announced that it had allowed the Bank Danamon bid to lapse, but that they remained committed to Indonesia and will continue to invest and grow franchise.[16]

The Islamic Bank of Asia[edit]

DBS Bank launched The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) on 7 May 2007, after receiving official approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a full bank licence. IB Asia's founding shareholders include majority stakeholder DBS and 34 Middle Eastern investors from prominent families and industrial groups from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

DBS iB Secure Device and Internet banking[edit]

DBS iB Secure Device showing code number

Starting in late 2006, the bank began releasing to its Internet banking customers a Dual Factor Authentication device to assist in thwarting phishing attacks. The DBS iB Secure Device is a hardware device with a key fob form factor that generates a password that is linked to the log-on name. The password changes every sixty seconds and once used is no longer valid. The institution Code for DBS is 7171.

In 2012, DBS introduced a New Generation IB Secure Device as part of the financial industry-wide initiative for an even safer online banking experience. The device has stronger authentication capabilities and provides users with an extra layer of security against potential fraudulent activities and threats.[17]

DBS has a total of 2.4 million Internet banking users in Singapore as of 2013.[18]

Mobile banking[edit]

On 15 April 2010, DBS Bank launched mobile banking service, mBanking, to both DBS and POSB customers. It allows customers to view their banking and credit card accounts, transfer funds and pay bills via their mobile phones. Customers will need to download an application from the google play store or iTunes app store by searching DBS mBanking or POSB mBanking to use the service.

mBanking was already soft-launched on both DBS and POSB websites on 10 April 2010 with more than 2,300 downloads.

Customers using mBanking will be protected by DBS Bank's 'money-safe' guarantee. The bank promised reimbursements if there are any unauthorised transactions.[19]

As of 2013, there were 839,000 mBanking users in Singapore.[18]


Led by Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer of DBS Bank, DBS Bank pioneered the DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator[20] that is designed to cultivate entrepreneurship in Singapore through experimentation, mentorship and training. No equity is taken from the participating startups. The programme was a resounding success, and many successful startups were born from the programme. The startups came from various background, including non-banking ones[21][22] such as coffee retailer Cafebond, proptech Nestr (previously known as myNest),[23] slide designer Flide,[24] social influencing platform GetKobe[25] and SushiVid. Fintech includes Seedly and Toucan.[26] The DBS HotSpot is designed to support local startups in the very early stages of testing their ideas and getting them off the ground. Subsequently, DBS Bank will continue to support them through later stage accelerators and industry programmes.


  • Best SME Banking Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[27]
  • Best Customer Service Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[27]

World best bank by global finance magazine in 2018


  1. ^ "DBS Annual Report 2016" (PDF).
  2. ^ "The World's Biggest Public Companies". Forbes.
  3. ^ "DBS Annual Report 2017" (PDF).
  4. ^ "DBS Bank – The Development Bank of Singapore Limited". DBS Group.
  5. ^ "2015 Annual Report" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b "DBS is safest bank in Asia for sixth consecutive year".
  7. ^ "World's best digital bank 2016: DBS @Euromoney". Euromoney. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  8. ^ "DBS named world's best bank in nod to its digital innovation". 27 Aug 2018.
  9. ^ a b Development Bank of Singapore Ltd. (1969). First annual report 1968 (p. 4). Singapore: Development Bank of Singapore Ltd.
  10. ^ United Nations. (1963). A proposed industrialization programme for the State of Singapore (pp. 1–3, 118–123). Singapore: U.N. Commissioner for Technical Assistance, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. Call no.: RCLOS 338.095951 UNI.
  11. ^ "Establishment of The Post Office Saving Bank". National Library Board. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  12. ^ DBS Annual Report 2016
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "DBS mindful of possible headwinds to Bank Danamon deal". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  15. ^ Esther Samboh, 'DBS 'confident' of approval for Danamon takeover', The Jakarta Post, 12 April 2012.
  16. ^ "DBS Bank – The Development Bank of Singapore Limited – DBS Group".
  17. ^ "iBanking".
  18. ^ a b "DBS Key Highlights – Customer" (PDF).
  19. ^ "DBS launches mobile banking". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010.
  20. ^ "DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator".
  21. ^ "Startups of DBS HotSpot Bootcamp".
  22. ^ "DBS HotSpot Pre-Accelerator Programme 2016".
  23. ^ "Nestr - Home Design Ideas".
  24. ^ "Flide". Archived from the original on 2016-10-26.
  25. ^ "GetKobe".
  26. ^ "Toucan".
  27. ^ a b "AWARD WINNERS 2015".