DBS, Bank of Singapore to Continue Private Banking Bulk-Up

Bahren Shaari, Bank of Singapore

Bahren Shaari, Bank of Singapore

DBS and Bank of Singapore signaled their willingness to splash out on acquisitions in order to bulk up their business with Asia's wealthy. Domestic banks are increasingly stiff competition for Swiss banks in Asia.

DBS would look at deals priced «right» which fit its strategy, consumer and wealth head Tan Su Shan (pictured below) told «Bloomberg», while Bank of Singapore's head said that his bank «will definitely evaluate» deal opportunities.

Does that include ABN Amro’s private bank in Asia, which DBS is reportedly among those considering making a bid for? Tan was coy on ABN, but confident about DBS' dealmaking abilities otherwise.

More Aggressive Tone

Tan Su Shan 511«We look at deals if it fits in with our overall strategy and there’s price discipline and we have both the bandwidth and the operational expertise to do so,» she said. The willingness to acquire represents a far more aggressive tone in dealing with the likes of UBS and Citigroup as well as smaller competitors like Julius Baer which have poured millions into building up extensive private banks in Singapore and Hong Kong, hoping to win a share of the fast-growing wealth market.

DBS and Bank of Singapore have already spent roughly $400 million on deals this year, while OCBC recently closed the acquisition of Barclays' wealth management arm in Singapore and Hong Kong.

You Need Scale

«Consolidation will continue. That’s to be expected. You need scale, you need a competitive advantage to work in this highly regulated, competitive environment,» Bank of Singapore CEO Bahren Shaari told «Bloomberg».

 

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