DBS Bank

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DBS Bank Ltd
Traded as SGX: D05
Industry Banking
Founded 1968; 48 years ago (1968)
Headquarters Singapore
Key people
Peter Seah Lim Huat
Products Financial Services
  • Increase SGD8.927 billion (2013)
  • Increase SGD8.064 billion (2012)
  • Increase SGD3.501 billion (2013)
  • Increase SGD3.359 billion (2012)
Total assets $332.6 billion (2015)[2]
Number of employees
Website www.dbs.com

DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in 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. 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. The bank's strong capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings 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] 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]


Established on July 16, 1968 by the Government of Singapore to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board,[7] 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 industrialization programme for the city.[8] 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.[7]

Acquisition of POSB Bank[edit]

Main article: POSB Bank

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.[9]

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 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 largest shareholders as of 24 February 2015[10] are:

  1. Citibank Nominees Singapore Pte Ltd 471,246,909 shares 19.01%
  2. Maju Holdings Pte. Ltd. 428,888,448 shares 17.30%
  3. DBS Nominees Pte Ltd 428,434,073 shares 17.28%
  4. Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd 284,145,301 shares 11.46%
  5. DBSN Services Pte Ltd 210,026,315 shares 8.47%
  6. HSBC (Singapore) Nominees Pte Ltd 159,863,455 shares 6.45%

* 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 China, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom and United States.


DBS Bank Hong Kong branch head office at The Center.

Strategically located in the key trade and financial hubs of 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 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 China.

Hong Kong[edit]

Main article: DBS Bank (Hong Kong)

DBS started its operations in 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. 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.[11] 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 Tubes 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]

The Islamic Bank of Asia[edit]

DBS Bank launched The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) on May 7, 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. [15]

DBS has a total of 2.4 million Internet banking users in Singapore as of 2013. [16]

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.[17]

As of 2013, there were 839,000 mBanking users in Singapore. [16]


  • 'Best SME Banking Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[18]
  • 'Best Customer Service Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[18]


  1. ^ "DBS Annual Report 2013". 
  2. ^ "The World's Biggest Public Companies". Forbes. 
  3. ^ "DBS third-quarter earnings rise 17% to SGD 1.01 billion". 
  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. ^ a b Development Bank of Singapore Ltd. (1969). First annual report 1968 (p. 4). Singapore: Development Bank of Singapore Ltd.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Establishment of The Post Office Saving Bank". National Library Board. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  10. ^ DBS Shareholding Statistics (24 February 2015)
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "DBS mindful of possible headwinds to Bank Danamon deal". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ Esther Samboh, 'DBS 'confident' of approval for Danamon takeover', The Jakarta Post, 12 April 2012.
  14. ^ "DBS Bank - The Development Bank of Singapore Limited - DBS Group". 
  15. ^ "iBanking". 
  16. ^ a b "DBS Key Highlights - Customer" (PDF). 
  17. ^ "DBS launches mobile banking". AsiaOne. 
  18. ^ a b "AWARD WINNERS 2015".