Awards for Distinction 2015 – Best Private Bank – Singapore


DBS Private Bank

Tan Su Shan, Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, DBS

Tan Su Shan, Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, DBS

With its soaring ambitions to be the private banking capital of Asia, the demonstrable commitment of its sovereign government to nurture the industry as well as the highest concentration of high net worth individuals relative to population in Asia, Singapore is a vital destination for private banks large and small.

As a booking centre for the world’s wealthy, Singapore’s inherent appeal as a private banking hub has also made it one of the most fiercely contested wealth management markets in Asia.To be an industry leader in such an environment, a private bank must marry a deep and relevant local network – bankers, entrepreneurs and providers – with global reach.

DBS Private Bank has demonstrated its ability to do just that and much more. The highest ranked Asia-headquartered private bank in the world, DBS’ “Aa-” and “Aa1” credit ratings are among the best in the region. It has also reiterated its commitment to private banking with its 2014 acquisition of Societe Generale’s Asian private banking business.

Apart from the obvious benefits of a deeper product shelf and greater organisational orientation towards wealth management, the Societe Generale partnership has also led to a broadened global coverage of 484 European stocks and 104 Japanese stocks – a significant advantage for Asian clients looking for diversification.

Although size is not the single or most important award criterion, DBS is the dominant local private bank in Singapore by asset size, based on the 2014 Asian Private Banker League Table. Indeed, having adjudged their offering for several years, Asian Private Banker is convinced that 2015 is a tipping point for DBS – it has achieved critical mass (S$99 billion, or about US$70 billion, in assets under management as of September 2015); demonstrated the sustainability of its model by keeping costs at 55% and impressed the jury with the calibrated and consistent pace of its growth (CAGR of 20% since 2012).

Finally, the bank’s deep and demonstrable commitment to innovation – its partnership with IBM made it the first private bank in the world to use artificial intelligence to service clients – connotes an agility that will carry it well into the future. For 2015, DBS has amply demonstrated why it is the winner of the Asian Private Banker Best Private Bank – Singapore award.