In a feat unmatched by other banks globally, DBS has become 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. It follows the bank’s wins of Global Finance’s “Best Bank in the World” in August 2018 and The Banker’s “Bank of the Year – Global” in November 2018.
This is the first time an Asian-headquartered bank has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney since the award was launched in 1993. Past winners included Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citi and UBS. DBS was also named Asia’s Best Bank and Singapore’s Best Bank in this year’s Awards for Excellence.
Clive Horwood, Editor of Euromoney, said, “DBS was chosen for our awards because it represents what we believe a bank should look like today. No other institution has worked so hard to embrace and lead digital disruption, and while some banks demonstrate their technological prowess with impressive apps, DBS does so by embedding digital innovation into everything it does – with a tangible positive impact on the bottom line. It has achieved this with a clear-sighted focus on sustainability that positions it well for the years ahead.”
Piyush Gupta, DBS CEO, said, “We are honoured to be recognised by Euromoney as the World’s Best Bank. With this award, we are now the first bank ever to concurrently hold three of the most prestigious global best bank honours. This achievement underlines widespread recognition for our leadership in defining the future of banking, and our commitment to deliver a purpose beyond banking to create a more sustainable future.”
DBS’ digital transformation efforts – widely recognised as one of the most comprehensive for a bank – continue to reap results. At end-2018, return on equity, at 12.1%, was among the highest for a developed market bank. Over 80% of DBS’ open systems were cloud-ready; its API platform had over 350 APIs, business and tech teams were co-drivers in 33 platforms and over 10,000 employees were trained on a data-driven curriculum.
The bank has also leveraged its strengths in digital to advance the sustainability agenda, with innovations aimed at promoting financial inclusion and multiplying its social impact. It launched HeveaConnect, a digital trading marketplace for sustainable rubber, and continued to grow its mobile-only offering, digibank, in India and Indonesia, enabling access to banking services for more customers in these markets.
In the area of sustainable finance, DBS provided green loans, sustainability performance-linked loans and renewable energy financing amounting to more than SGD 2.4 billion in 2018. This year, the bank signed Singapore’s first sustainability-linked loan for an SME with Chew’s Agriculture, a leading egg producer in Singapore, as well as Taiwan’s first sustainability-linked loan, with electronics manufacturer AU Optronics.
DBS was the first bank in Southeast Asia to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Asia-Pacific, and the first Singapore bank to be named as a constituent of the FTSE4Good Global Index. It has also been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index since 2018.