DBS Wealth Unit Hits Record

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta

Singapore's largest bank DBS has reported its net profit for the first quarter was down 5 per cent from a year ago.The wealth management business however bucked expectations reaching new records in both AUM and revenue.

While its Singaporean counterparts returned tepid results for the same quarter, DBS managed to turn in a robust performance with the wealth management unit coming through the quarter with record results.

As with the other Singaporean banks the wealth management segment of DBS shelters under the umbrella of the «Consumer Banking Group», nonetheless the results were strong.

New Heights

Assets under management reached a record for the bank of S$147 billion up 5 percent year-on-year, while the wealth management revenue came in at S$383 million, also up 5 percent year-on-year, and some 14 percent up quarter-on quarter.

Different Type of Bank

Several initiatives the bank undertook during 2015 are now beginning to filter through to the bottom line. The S$1.6 billion 15 year agreement on bancassurance with Manulife signed last year has been amortised and underpins the wealth unit with S$27 million every quarter.

The digitalisation across the bank is now leading to cost efficiencies. CEO Piyush Gupta also wants to introduce more eco-system partners to the bank, expanding the offering to embrace the powerful fintech influences.  

Prima Donna Bankers

Gupta was asked to reflect on his thoughts regarding the recent deal which saw the Asian business of Barclays Wealth being acquired by local rival OCBC via their private banking unit, The Bank of Singapore.

He responded by saying that while his bank had been interested, in the end the fit was not aligned with their own corporate culture. He also stressed that he is happy with the cost income ratio of the wealth management business at DBS, which he understands to be among the lowest in the industry. 

«Where there is sensible synergy we will be keen to bolt on more wealth management assets,» he said. Gupta also commented «The organic in-house rounded development of their own wealth managers was now a mismatch with many of the prima donna bankers found in other private banks, making acquisitions harder.»      





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