Singapore’s largest lender and Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS Group Holdings, reported their 2021 profit scales and it is the biggest yet with a 44% increment from the previous year. What is even more surprising is that the bank could stack up to $5 billion in profit while dealing with a crisis situation regarding online banking services.
CEO of DBS, Piyush Gupta, recently stated that the massive growth was partly due to the economy recovering from the effects of Covid. This explains the earnings from their October to December quarter being $1.4 billion, which is a 37% increment from 2020. The bank also witnessed a sharp rise in their fee-based income, over 15%. Gupta stated that this is the best performance the financial institution has witnessed in the entire decade.
DBS is now steadily expanding outside Singapore with the ownership of Citigroup’s consumer banking business as an entry into the Taiwan market, and targeting various American financial institutions as well. In 2020 they took over India-based Laxmi Villas Bank and last year they purchased 13% shares of Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Corporation, based in China.
To achieve this status the lending group has had to put in serious efforts towards digitalization and digital banking services. It even won the ‘World’s Best Digital Bank’ award last year. However, last November, the DBS group’s online banking services were disrupted for over 48 hours. As a result, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has asked the bank to keep a reserve of $930 million to ensure it can safeguard operational risks.
The online banking ecosystem in Singapore has major players such as Ant Group and Grab, both based out of China. So, any further incumbencies from DBS may lead to them losing solid ground in the internet banking sector.