As the bank that helped spark Singapore’s development and growth, we continue to turn ideas into action, and bring possibilities and innovation to life. These are at the heart of who we are.
The Singapore Story
The bank will... have, in the long run, a very wide range of functions...
1965. A nation was born. Singapore was an island with few resources. How was it going to survive? The answer lay in diversifying from entrepot trade; the strategy was to embark on industrialisation.
But the journey was fraught with challenges. The lack of financing was one such obstacle. The country needed funding to kickstart new industries and spur its existing ones.
The Development Bank of Singapore was hence incorporated in 1968. The bank, which would later be renamed DBS, set out to fuel industries, strengthen the city’s infrastructure and seal regional and international relationships. By the 1990s, the wheels were turning smoothly and Singapore emerged an Asian Tiger. In the city-state’s story of economic growth, DBS became its steadfast partner.
Leading the Way
Through the years, we’ve played an integral role in Singapore’s progress with new ideas and charting new directions. Seizing opportunities as they arose, we launched bold banking and property initiatives as a partner to Singapore and Singaporeans.
Highlights of key milestones
1974: Go Cashless
Singaporeans were hard at work growing the economy. Taking customer convenience up a notch, we launched cashless transactions with DBS ATM cards and flexible banking hours on Saturdays.
1975: Anchored for growth
The economic outlook was pessimistic then. Despite the odds, we introduced the anchor tenant concept with Yaohan at Plaza Singapura, in a bid to reinvigorate the floundering retail sector. Today, Singapore has a thriving retail sector, attracting domestic and international shoppers alike.
1977: More than a home
Built Pandan Valley Condominium, Singapore’s first condominium, filling a need in the property scene. Who knew that we would spark the beginnings of quality living.
1980: Interest-bearing current account
Launched DBS Autosave. Singaporeans from all walks of life could now save more while enjoying the convenience of using cheques.
1986: City within a city
Raffles City (built by the then DBS Land) made headlines as a “city within a city” – an integrated complex with a convention centre, hotel and shopping mall. Raffles City fueled the MICE industry for years to come.
1993: Electronic share application
An increasingly affluent workforce needed easy access to invest their earnings. We launched electronic share application through ATMs.
1997: Public offering of bonds
Introduced the public offering of bonds. The man in the street could now invest in a market that was previously out of reach.
2001: Grow with micro-loans
The turn of the century saw increased drive towards growing local industries and SMEs. We launched Grow with DBS, a micro-loan scheme for local start-ups and businesses with loans of up to S$50,000 for equipment, renovation and working capital.
2001: First REIT
Expanded the investment options of our customers and partners with CapitaMall Trust by CapitaLand, Singapore’s first REIT.
2013: Finance on the go
As the world moves towards being mobile, our banking apps such as DBS Mobile Banking, PayLah! and DBS Rewards provide customers with more convenience and flexibility in banking on the go.
2014: Celebrate local art
Donated S$25 million to the National Gallery Singapore. Singaporeans will be able to enjoy a permanent display of works from the nation’s art history.
Going Places Across Asia
A single idea - to be a bank that supports Singapore’s economic growth – has kindled our journey. We now have a footprint across Asia. But home is where our heart is deeply entrenched.
Click pins to view each country's image below
Our journey beyond Singapore began with the opening of our first overseas branch in Tokyo. Many more first branches in other core regional markets followed: Taiwan (1983), Hong Kong (1988), Indonesia (1989), China (1993) and India (1995).
Now, our global network spans 17 markets with some 21,000 staff in more than 250 branches.
Yet, Singapore is, and will always be, our home. Today, from our new headquarters in Marina Bay, Singapore’s new financial downtown, we continue to re-imagine the future of banking in Asia - with our innovative suite of products and services, from ibanking, mobile banking to PayLah!, which offers mobile payment, and Home Connect, the app that helps property buyers make informed decisions.
For almost 50 years, as a trusted partner, we have been creating possibilities across Asia, helping people to get more out of life. It all starts with that spark of creativity, drive and determination in the Singapore story, the DBS story, and in each and everyone of us.
As the bank that sparked Singapore’s development, igniting possibilities is at the heart of who we are. We will be here for the next 50 years, and beyond.
Let's spark something together.