Bank to the Future

Discover how DBS has consistently evolved to redefine itself over half a century, on Bank to the Future, a documentary ​produced by Channel NewsAsia.


Early Years

1968 - 1979



DBS is established

As a young nation strove to forge its path in the 1960s, a small group of people were tasked with the unique responsibility of financing Singapore's fledgling industries and growing new ones.


Hon Sui Sen is DBS' first chairman and president

Mr Hon joined DBS from the EDB in 1968, expanding our services beyond development financing to a full-fledged financial institution.


DBS buys into Rollei

Photography aficionados, here's one for the books: Rollei cameras, believed to be among the best in the world in the 1970s, were made in Singapore! The German manufacturer had a factory here. Cameras were proudly engraved with "Made by Rollei Singapore".


DBS logo makes its appearance

Did you know: our logo was modelled after the caissons of the DBS Building foundation! Since making its first appearance in 1972, our logo has evolved through the years as we sought to showcase the spark within the bank.


DBS opens first branch in Jurong

Stallholders depositing paper bags of cash each morning. Gimson, our first and only watchman and carpark attendant, directing customers' cars to the lots. These were some common sights at our very first branch in Jurong.


DBS Building is completed

Our staff certainly had a great view! Standing 50 stories high, DBS Tower One broke the glass ceiling for the construction of office blocks then and was the tallest building in Singapore when it was completed.


DBS first to extend banking hours on Saturdays

The first three branches to offer Saturday afternoon banking: Katong, Toa Payoh and Orchard Road.


DBS opens Plaza Singapura

Raise your hands if you used to queue at Plaza Singapura's Yaohan for its delicious "an-pan", or enjoyed a meal at Swensons or Ponderosa restaurant after your weekly music lessons at Yamaha.


DBS co-launches the Small Industries Finance Scheme

True to our mission as a development bank, we focused on helping others grow even while we were a young bank and new player in the banking scene.


DBS opens first overseas representative office in Tokyo

Never one to shy away from challenges, we marked our foray outside of Singapore with our first overseas representative office in Tokyo despite not speaking the local language!


DBS launches Pandan Valley condominium

When launched, Pandan Valley condominium was Singapore's largest condominium and one of its first.


DBS opens Thomson Plaza

Affectionately known by many as "Thomson Yaohan", Thomson Plaza boasted a Yaohan departmental store, The Wonderful World of Whimsy arcade and Yamaha music store.


Spreading Our Wings

1980 - 2000



DBS launches Autosave

Back in the 1970s, customers with a checking accounts could not earn interest, while those with a current account did not have checking facilities. To make life simpler, we broke new ground and launched DBS Autosave in 1980 - the first interest-bearing current account in Singapore.


DBS opens first Taiwan branch in Taipei

The Taiwan branch, our seventh office internationally, would contribute to trade activities in the Republic of China-US-Japan trade triangle and facilitate trade between the Republic of China, Singapore and ASEAN countries.


DBS is lead manager for SIA IPO

While Singapore Airlines (SIA) flew its customers across the world, we were helping SIA go global in a different way!


DBS launches Raffles City

Did you know it took us over 17 years to plan and build Raffles City? We wanted to bring life to the CBD area after working hours and grow tourism in Singapore.


DBS opens representative office in Jakarta

Our expansion across Asia continued with the opening of a representative office in Jakarta. We also obtained approval to establish a joint-venture bank in Jakarta.


DBS lead manages Singtel IPO

A nation of investors was birthed with the Singapore Telecom (Singtel) IPO. We lead-manged the milestone SGD 4.3 billion IPO jointly with a consortium of local banks.


DBS sets up representative office in India

The start of a long-standing strategic presence in India: we were the first Singapore bank to set up a representative office in India in 1994, upgrading it to a formal bank branch a year later.


DBS launches comprehensive internet banking

Remember the days of Netscape Navigator and dial-up Internet? Right from the early days of the World Wide Web, we recognised how this could make banking simpler for you.


DBS acquires POSB

We acquired POSB, a move in line with the government's call for local banks to merge so as to create fewer, but larger and stronger banks that are able to compete on the international stage.


Entrenching Ourselves in Asia

2001 - 2010



DBS acquires 100% interest in Dao Heng bank

In line with our pan-Asian strategy, we acquired 100% interest in Dao Heng bank and its subsidiary Overseas Trust bank.


DBS launches first REIT in Singapore

DBS is a pioneer in the REITs space, having successfully launched CapitaMall Trust, the first REIT in Singapore, in 2002. We have not looked back since.


DBS is first Singapore bank to incorporate in China

Headquartered in Shanghai, we were one of the first few foreign banks, and the first Singapore bank, to incorporate a fully owned local subsidiary in China.


DBS launches industry-first banking package for social enterprises in Singapore

We believe in supporting businesses that seek to address social needs, so that the larger society and in particular, those in need can benefit.


DBS celebrates 40th anniversary with project to help the children of Asia

A basketball court for primary school children in the remote village of Juara in Malaysia. Lessons to children in a Cambodia village school about sanitation. These were some of the projects our employees completed as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations.


DBS acquires "good bank" assets of Bowa Bank

Further expanding our footprint across Asia, we acquired the "good bank" assets of Bowa Bank and grew our presence in Taiwan.


DBS Hong Kong launches social entrepreneurship platform

Continuing our support of social entrepreneurship, DBS Hong Kong launched its flagship community programme, "DBS Social Enterprise Experience", to provide a learning platform for youths to hone their business  skills and cultivate social entrepreneurship.


DBS launches industry first "money safe" guarantee

It's important our customers have peace of mind. So for those worried about transacting over the internet, despite high security standards held by the industry, we took the lead and introduced an industry-first "money safe" guarantee.


Becoming the World's Best

2011 - Present



DBS launches Marina Regatta

We launched the inaugural Marina Regatta to bring life to the Marina Bay area.


DBS moves to MBFC Tower 3

It was a moment marked with excitement, pride and nostalgia as we bade farewell to our Shenton Way headquarters of 38 years and made the historic move to our new head office at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3.


DBS launches DBS Foundation

To play our part in shaping a better future for Asia, we cemented our committment to social enterprises with the launch of our SGD 50 million foundation.


DBS is World's Best Digital Bank

We believe that banks tomorrow will look fundamentally different from banks today. That’s why DBS is deeply immersed in the digital agenda.


DBS launches digibank India

Digibank India was the first mobile-only, paperless, signatureless and branchless bank incorporating ground breaking technology, from biometrics to artificial intelligence.


DBS launches DAX

We further our commitment to shape the future of banking with the launch of a new innovation facility, DBS Asia X, in Singapore.


DBS receives approval to establish wholly-owned subsidiary in India

The approval to establish a locally incorporated wholly-owned local subsidiary in India a year after we launched digibank was another milestone in our journey in India.


DBS joins RE100

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind and we are committed to taking a leadership role in promoting sustainable development.


DBS launches world's largest banking API platform

From McDonald's to PropertyGuru to Homage - a wide range of companies have hopped onto our API platform to develop solutions that will bring more convenience and value to our customers.


DBS launches POSB Smart Buddy

In line with Singapore's Smart Nation agenda, we started getting children future-ready by introducing POSB Smart Buddy, the world's first in-school wearable tech savings and payments programme.


DBS launches digibank in Indonesia

Following our successful launch in India, we brought digibank to Indonesia in 2017. The groundbreaking mobile-led bank is paperless and signatureless, bringing together an entire suite of innovative technology so customers can enjoy a whole new way of banking.


DBS recognised for gender equality

We're proud to have been named to Bloomberg's 2018 Gender-Equality Index, and recognised for our leadership among firms worldwide in creating a work environment that supports gender equality.


World’s Best Digital Bank, World’s Best bank for SMEs

DBS is recognised by Euromoney as the World’s Best Digital Bank for the second time. In a first for the bank, DBS is also named by Euromoney as the World’s Best Bank for SMEs.


DBS is Best Bank in the World

In a first for a Singapore and Asian bank, DBS Bank has overtaken larger, more established banks to be named Best Bank in the World. The prestigious top award was conferred to DBS by Global Finance in its World’s Best Global Banks 2018 Awards.


DBS is Global Bank of the Year

Cementing its position at the top of the global class, DBS is named Global Bank of the Year by The Banker, a leading publication of the Financial Times.


DBS is the World’s Best Bank

In a feat unmatched by other banks globally, DBS becomes the first bank to concurrently hold three global best bank awards. This was achieved after DBS was named “World’s Best Bank” by leading global financial publication Euromoney in its 2019 Awards for Excellence.


DBS launches full-service Digital Exchange

The digital exchange enables us to leverage blockchain technology to provide an ecosystem for fund raising through asset tokenisation and secondary trading of digital assets including cryptocurrencies.


DBS launches Climate Impact X (CIX)

We further our commitment to Singapore’s Green Plan with CIX, a Singapore-based global carbon exchange and marketplace that leverages satellite monitoring, machine learning and blockchain technology to enhance the transparency, integrity and quality of carbon credits.

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