Trust turns up the heat on Singapore’s banking sector
Singapore’s new digital bank Trust has put rivals on notice and pushed some to focus more intensely on innovation. But its long-term success will depend on many things – not least CEO Dwaipayan Sadhu’s ability to retain clients.
Launched on September 1, 2022, Singapore’s digital-only bank Trust Bank has quickly become one of the world’s fastest growing digital lenders, boasting a client base of over 500,000 and deposits of more than S$1 billion ($750 million).
Despite this progress, chief executive Dwaipayan Sadhu is still healthily ambitious. Speaking to Asiamoney in July, he says that he wants Trust to become the city-state’s fourth-largest retail bank by customer numbers by the end of next year (behind established players DBS, OCBC and UOB) and to become profitable in 2025.
Such targets may seem punchy considering the track record of other digital banks across the world. According to a report from Boston Consulting Group’s Fintech Control Tower, a mere 5% of the over 450 digital challenger banks globally were profitable in 2022. Nevertheless, of the 20 profitable banks, 11 were in Asia Pacific, so the region’s digital-only banks have generally been more successful than those elsewhere.
Additionally, with a population of just six million people, Singapore is already well banked by incumbents DBS, UOB and OCBC. There are nearly 130 banks operating in Singapore, including established global firms such as Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered and southeast Asian leaders like CIMB and Maybank.