DBS Bank Ltd

DBS Bank headquarters in Marina Bay, Singapore

FormerlyThe Development Bank of Singapore Limited (1968–2003)
SGX: D05
PredecessorFinancing division of the Economic Development Board
Founded16 July 1968; 53 years ago
Headquarters12 Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, Singapore 018982

Area served


Key people

Peter Seah
Piyush Gupta
ProductsFinancial services
ServicesRetail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, wealth management, credit cards, finance and insurance
RevenueIncrease US$10.28 billion (2016)
  • Increase SGD6.517 billion (2016)
  • Increase SGD6.037 billion (2015)
Decrease US$3.07 billion (2016)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$333.48 billion (2016)[2]

Number of employees

Increase 24,174 (2017) [3]
RatingMoodys: Aa1
S&P: AA-
Fitch: AA-

DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Marina Bay, Singapore. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted on 21 July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a global bank.[4]

The bank was set up by the Government of Singapore on 16 July 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board. Today, its branches numbering more than 100 can be found island-wide. DBS Bank is the largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets and among the larger banks in Asia, with total assets of S$518 billion as at 31 December 2017. It has market-dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. DBS Banks largest, and controlling, shareholder is Temasek Holdings, Singapores second-largest sovereign wealth fund (after GIC). As of 31 March 2018, Temasek owns 29% of DBS shares.[5]

The banks strong capital position, as well as AA− and Aa1 credit ratings by Standard & Poors and Moodys that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, earned it Global Finances Safest Bank in Asia accolade for six consecutive years, from 2009 to 2015.[6][7] The Bank was also awarded the Best Digital Bank in the World in the year 2016 by Euromoney.[8] In July 2019, DBS became the first bank ever to concurrently hold three of the most prestigious global best bank honours (Euromoney, Global Finance, The Banker).[9] In addition, DBS Bank is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index since 2 October 2018, making it the first bank in Southeast Asia to do so.[10] DBS was one of the first companies in Singapore to be recognised for gender equality efforts along with City Developments Limited in the first Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) published in 2018.[11]

With operations in 17 markets, the bank has a regional network spanning more than 250 branches and over 1,100 ATMs across 50 cities.[7]


Established on 16 July 1968 by the Government of Singapore to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board,[12] the banks main purpose was to provide loans and financial aid to the manufacturing and processing industries and to help establish and upgrade existing industries in Singapore. In 1960, the Singapore government invited a United Nations (UN) industrial survey mission to assess the economic situation in Singapore and to come up with an industrialization programme for the city.[13] The proposal included setting up a development bank, together with an economic body to attract foreign investments and provide financing and managing the industrial estates. The bank was incorporated in July 1968 and began operations in September of the same year.[12]

Acquisition of POSB Bank[edit]

Formerly known as Post Office Savings Bank, it was established on 1 January 1877 in the General Post Office Building, in Raffles Place by the British Colonial Government in Singapore.[14]

By 1976, POSB had one million depositors, while deposits crossed the S$1 billion mark. The bank was then renamed POSBank in 1990, before being acquired by DBS Bank on 16 November 1998 for S$1.6 billion (first announced on 24 July 1998),[15][16] giving it a dominant market share with over four million customers.[17] POSB Bank still operates one of the highest numbers of bank branches in Singapore, especially in the suburban neighborhoods, and operates the highest number of ATM outlets throughout Singapore. The integration of both banks allowed customers of either bank to share the facilities; DBS Bank depositors may use the Cash Deposit Machine installed islandwide in POSBank branches, likewise for POSB Bank depositors.[18]


The ten largest shareholders as of 9 February 2021[19] are:

Name of Shareholders No. of Shareholdings %*
1. Citibank Nominees Singapore Pte Ltd 507,226,956 19.88
2. Maju Holdings Pte Ltd 459,259,376 18.00
3. DBS Nominees Pte Ltd 438,125,577 17.17
4. Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd 284,145,301 11.14
5. DBSN Services Pte Ltd 284,145,301 9.07
6. HSBC (Singapore) Nominees Pte Ltd 140,783,921 5.52
7. Raffles Nominees (Pte) Ltd 83,383,130 3.27
8. BPSS Nominees Singapore (Pte) Ltd 22,338,651 0.88
9. Lee Foundation 11,372,365 0.45
10. United Overseas Bank Nominees Pte Ltd 11,242,723 0.44

* Percentage is calculated based on the total number of issued ordinary shares, excluding treasury shares

Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd, a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance, is deemed to be interested in all the ordinary shares held by Maju. In addition, Temasek is deemed to be interested in 4,449,781 ordinary shares in which its other subsidiaries and associated companies have or are deemed to have an interest pursuant to Section 4 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289.

International operations[edit]

DBS Bank has branches and offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.



Strategically located in the key trade and financial hubs of mainland China, DBS has a network of full service branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Dongguan, Nanning and Hangzhou; and representative offices in Fuzhou which provide a comprehensive range of commercial and corporate banking services. In December 2006, DBS Bank received approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to prepare for local incorporation in Mainland China. DBS is the only Singapore bank among nine foreign banks to receive this approval. In 2010, it also became the first Singapore bank to issue UnionPay debit cards in mainland China.

Hong Kong[edit]

DBS started its operations in Great Hong Kong in 1999 by acquiring Kwong On Bank from Leungs family & Japanese-based Fuji Bank, and renamed it as DBS Kwong On Bank Limited. It acquired Dao Heng Bank (and its subsidiary Overseas Trust Bank) in 2001. The three banks were later merged under the trading name of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.


Headquartered in the commercial capital of Mumbai, DBS operates via a network of 33 bank branches across 22 cities in India such as Bangalore, Chennai, Cuddalore, Hyderabad, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Moradabad, Indore, Mumbai (Andheri, Nariman Point), Nashik, New Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Pune, Salem, Surat and Vadodara.[20] DBS India had a 37.5% stake in DBS Cholamandalam Finance, a non-bank financial institution, in April 2009, it transferred its shares to the parent company Tube Investments of India Limited, thus terminating its shared holder agreement in Cholamandalam DBS. On 17 November 2020, Reserve Bank of India instructed Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) to be merged with DBS India after LVB having placed under moratorium for 30 days.[21]


DBS has a 99%-owned subsidiary, PT Bank DBS Indonesia, with 39 branches and sub-branches in 11 cities.

On 2 April 2012, DBS announced that it was planning to buy over a majority stake in Bank Danamon from Temasek Holdings.[22][23] Initial reactions to the proposed purchase in Indonesia were cautious with most commentators saying that the deal was expected to be approved but that government regulators would doubtless wish to look at some of the details, including reciprocity from Singapore policy makers, quite closely before making a final decision.[24]

On 31 July 2013, DBS announced that it had allowed the Bank Danamon bid to lapse, but that they remained committed to Indonesia and will continue to invest and grow franchise.[25]


DBS first established a presence in Taiwan in 1983. In May 2008, DBS integrated Taiwans Bowa Bank into its operations after acquiring the good bank assets in February. There are 40 distribution outlets across the country, half of which are based in Taipei.

The Islamic Bank of Asia[edit]

DBS Bank launched The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) on 7 May 2007, after receiving official approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a full bank licence. IB Asias founding shareholders include majority stakeholder DBS and 34 Middle Eastern investors from prominent families and industrial groups from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.[26][27]

On 14 September 2015, DBS Bank announced that it will progressively cease IB Asia as it was not able to achieve economies of scale when operated as a single entity. The process was estimated to take about 2 to 3 years,[28] with DBS Bank developing their Islamic compliant banking products instead.

DBS iB Secure Device and Internet banking[edit]


DBS iB Secure Device showing code number

Starting in late 2006, the bank began releasing to its Internet banking customers a Dual Factor Authentication device to assist in thwarting phishing attacks. The DBS iB Secure Device is a hardware device with a key fob form factor that generates a password that is linked to the log-on name. The password changes every sixty seconds and once used is no longer valid. The institution Code for DBS is 7171.

In 2012, DBS introduced a New Generation IB Secure Device as part of the financial industry-wide initiative for an even safer online banking experience. The device has stronger authentication capabilities and provides users with an extra layer of security against potential fraudulent activities and threats.[29]

DBS has a total of 2.4 million Internet banking users in Singapore as of 2013.[30]

Mobile banking[edit]

On 15 April 2010, DBS Bank launched mobile banking service, mBanking, to both DBS and POSB customers. It allows customers to view their banking and credit card accounts, transfer funds and pay bills via their mobile phones. Customers will need to download an application from the google play store or iTunes app store by searching DBS mBanking or POSB mBanking to use the service.

mBanking was already soft-launched on both DBS and POSB websites on 10 April 2010 with more than 2,300 downloads.

Customers using mBanking will be protected by DBS Banks money-safe guarantee. The bank promised reimbursements if there are any unauthorised transactions.[31]

As of 2013, there were 839,000 mBanking users in Singapore.[30]


  • Best SME Banking Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[32]
  • Best Customer Service Brand in Taiwan awarded by GLOBAL BRANDS MAGAZINE[32]
  • Worlds Best Bank, by Global Finance (New York).[33]
  • Global Bank of the Year, by The Banker (Financial Times group).[34]


  1. ^ DBS Annual Report 2016 (PDF).
  2. ^ The Worlds Biggest Public Companies. Forbes.
  3. ^ DBS Annual Report 2017 (PDF).
  4. ^ The Development Bank Of Singapore Ltd is Now DBS Bank Ltd. DBS Bank. 21 July 2003. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  5. ^ Temasek > Our Portfolio > Financial Services. Temasek. Temasek. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  6. ^ 2015 Annual Report (PDF).
  7. ^ a b DBS is safest bank in Asia for sixth consecutive year.
  8. ^ Worlds best digital bank 2016: DBS @Euromoney. Euromoney. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  9. ^ DBS named Worlds Best Bank by Euromoney, a first for an Asian bank. The Straits Times. 12 July 2019.
  10. ^ DBS – First bank in Southeast Asia included in Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Asia Pacific). DBS. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. ^ DBS, CDL among firms recognised for gender-equality efforts on Bloomberg index. CNA. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  12. ^ a b Development Bank of Singapore Ltd. (1969). First annual report 1968 (p. 4). Singapore: Development Bank of Singapore Ltd.
  13. ^ United Nations. (1963). A proposed industrialization programme for the State of Singapore (pp. 1–3, 118–123). Singapore: U.N. Commissioner for Technical Assistance, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. Call no.: RCLOS 338.095951 UNI.
  14. ^ Establishment of The Post Office Saving Bank. National Library Board. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  15. ^ Ministry of Finance Press Statement: Privatisation of POSBank. NAS. 24 July 1998. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  16. ^ The Development Bank of Singapore Ltd to acquire the business undertaking of the Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore strengthening its position as the largest Southeast Asian bank with total assets of approximately $93 billion. DBS Bank. 24 July 1998. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  17. ^ DBS Bank completes POSBank and credit POSB acquisition. DBS Bank. 16 November 1998. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  18. ^ DBS Bank Singapore » BanksinSG.COM. BanksinSG.COM. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  19. ^ DBS Annual Report 2020 (PDF).
  20. ^ DBS Bank Branches and ATMs | DBS Bank India. www.dbs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  21. ^ Lakshmi Vilas Bank Under RBI Moratorium, To Be Merged With DBS India. BloombergQuint. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  22. ^ Azhar, Saeed; Lim, Kevin (2 April 2012). DBS to pay $7.2 billion for Indonesias Bank Danamon. Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  23. ^ DBS mindful of possible headwinds to Bank Danamon deal. Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  24. ^ Esther Samboh, DBS confident of approval for Danamon takeover, The Jakarta Post, 12 April 2012.
  25. ^ Live more, Bank less | DBS Bank.
  26. ^ DBS Bank and prominent Middle Eastern investors launch The Islamic Bank of Asia. DBS. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  27. ^ DBS invests $380m in Spores first Islamic bank. The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 8 May 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  28. ^ DBS to wind down Islamic banking unit. The Straits Times. 15 September 2015. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  29. ^ DBS online banking - Skip visits to DBS branches | DBS Singapore.
  30. ^ a b DBS Key Highlights – Customer (PDF).
  31. ^ DBS launches mobile banking. AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010.
  32. ^ a b AWARD WINNERS 2015.
  33. ^ DBS named worlds best bank in nod to its digital innovation. The Straits Times. 27 August 2018.
  34. ^ DBS named global bank of the year by FT publication. The Straits Times. 1 December 2018.

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