Singapore's best domestic bank 2021: DBS
Singapore’s DBS Bank had to navigate two severe headwinds in the past 18 months: the myriad disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulty of operating in a near-zero interest rate environment.
But the bank’s senior management overcame these problems thanks to the well-diversified franchise they have built in recent years.
First, the numbers. Total income amounted to S$14.6 billion ($10.8 billion) in 2020, virtually unchanged from the previous year, and profits before allowances rose 2% to S$8.43 billion.
Net profits, however, slumped 26% to S$4.72 billion, but the bank started showing signs of a strong bounce back in early 2021. For the first quarter, net profits surged 72% year on year to S$2.01 billion.
That rebound, as well as the relatively stable performance last year, was not easy to achieve, and only really came together thanks to the collective performance of DBS’s various business lines – a feat that makes the bank the winner of three Asiamoney awards for Singapore this year: best domestic bank, best corporate and investment bank and best digital bank.