||As a bank that lives and breathes Asia, we have a rich heritage ideally suited to serving our largely Asian clientele. But our competitors are not standing still.
To become a stronger organisation, we need to embrace change, possess discipline and focus, and build sustainable competitive advantage.”
||Our goal is to foster a DBS culture whereby every issue is looked at from the customer’s point of view and acted upon swiftly.”
||Scaling New Heights
||2006 was a good year for DBS. Efforts to transform ourselves into a competitive Asia
banking specialist are gaining traction, resulting in record Group net profi t of $2.18 billion.
Net interest and fee income were also at record highs of $3.59 billion and $1.16 billion
respectively. An economically vibrant Asia gave our business an added lift last year.
Asia’s resurgence is real. The region’s burgeoning middle
class is fuelling huge growth in domestic demand for goods, services and infrastructure. This group is
the fastest-growing middle class in the world and this bodes well for continued economic prosperity.
Against this backdrop, DBS is uniquely positioned to capture the regional opportunities that abound.
As a bank that lives and breathes Asia, we have a rich heritage ideally suited to serving our largely
Asian clientele. But our competitors are not standing still. To become a stronger organisation,
we need to embrace change, possess discipline and focus, and build sustainable competitive advantage.
In view of this, our three priorities last year were to build a strong DBS culture, manage our business in
totality and become truly customer-centric.
Building a strong DBS culture
As we grow across the region, we need even better access to financial and intellectual capital.
This is true of all industries but none more so than banking, where people are our biggest asset. While modern
technology has helped to transform the banking sector, we are ultimately still a people-driven business. As
we expand, our goal is to embed a set of firm values into the organisation so that we will, in time, develop a
distinctive DBS performance culture. We want DBS staff to be known for their positive ‘can-do’ attitude,
strong sense of empowerment and customer mindset.
This would not be possible without imbuing a stronger sense of organisational pride and ownership
among our staff. To this end, in 2006, we placed greater emphasis on internal communications and engaging our
nearly 13,000 employees group-wide. Staff were proudly featured as the face of our inaugural regional brand
campaign. We rallied them together in staff townhalls held in our key markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India
and Indonesia. Considerable effort was also made to revitalise the DBS brandand foster better teamwork across
businesses and geographies.
There is still room for improvement but we are taking steps in the right direction. We
will significantly increase our investment in talent management, training and people development.
To foster a strong performance oriented culture, we have also revamped DBS’ appraisal and
compensation systems so that we can better differentiate and reward those who perform well.
Managing our business in totality
As banking grows in scale and
scope, another priority is to hardwire
DBS to become more process-oriented
and rigorous in the way we manage
In the last year, we put in place key performance indicators (KPIs)
across the entire DBS Group and are now managing the bank to these KPIs.
We are also tracking external and internal perceptions comprehensively.
Externally, we have implemented a system to closely monitor our customer
service metrics regionally. In addition, we now measure the effectiveness
of our key marketing initiatives. Within the bank, staff feedback is
sought on a quarterly basis to gauge how we have fared in delivering on
our areas of priority.
These initiatives will instill greater discipline and focus in managing our
business in totality, and are driven by our belief that what gets measured,
With products and services in the banking industry becoming increasingly
commoditised, the ability to delight customers is a key determinant of
success. Moreover, providing genuinely good customer service on a
consistent basis is hard to
achieve and maintain, and
thus the most difficult
factor for competitors to
replicate. Our goal is to
foster a DBS culture
whereby every issue is
looked at from the
customer’s point of view and acted
upon swiftly. While we have made some
progress here, we are aware that there
is much more work to be done.
In 2007, we will be investing more
in our people and stepping up efforts to
understand how to improve employee
engagement. We believe that staff who
are given opportunities to learn and
grow at work will be more fulfi lled and
also more motivated and committed to
excellence. Underlining the importance
of this, we launched our first bank-wide
employee engagement survey last year,
and will continue to actively keep our
fi nger on the pulse of the organisation.
The Board is recommending a
final dividend of 20 cents per share,
resulting in a full-year dividend of 71
cents a share. This is a 22% increase
over 2005. In addition, the Board is also
recommending a special dividend of five
cents a share to be paid together with
the fourth-quarter dividend.
The last 12 months as chairman
of DBS have been challenging and
rewarding. Over this period, I have
benefitted from the unstinting support,
steady guidance and wise counsel of my
fellow board members. I would like to
express my gratitude to them for their
contributions and to thank my
colleagues in the bank, our customers,
partners and shareholders for
supporting us as we continue on our
journey to transform DBS into one of
the most respected and admired
financial institutions anchored in Asia.
Going forward, we are
determined to harness the collective
strength within the organisation as we
face the ever-changing landscape and
increasingly frenetic competition.
While 2006 was a good year for DBS,
there will certainly be new challenges
ahead. Nevertheless, I believe DBS has
what it takes to scale new heights; our
people are talented and I am confident
that we will be able to seize the
opportunities offered by a vibrant,
dynamic and rapidly prospering Asia.
KOH BOON HWEE
Chairman, DBS Group Holdings