Singapore’s top bank DBS eyes $370 billion in wealth assets by 2026

Singapore's top bank DBS eyes $370 billion in wealth assets by 2026


As the leading Singaporean bank places its bets on strong inflows into the city-state, DBS Group intends to increase assets under management for its wealth business to S$500 billion ($369.7 billion) by the end of 2026 according to the president of the division.

DBS’s wealth assets reached a record S$365 billion last year up 23% from the previous year. Singapore benefited from significant wealth inflows into Asia because of its relatively stable political environment, low tax rate, and laws that make it easier to establish family offices and trusts.

Over one-third of Singapore’s family offices are backed by DBS, the largest lender in Southeast Asia based on assets.

“I’m still growing,” said Shee Tse Koon, Group Head of Consumer Banking Group and Wealth Management at DBS.

“The market is actually kind of at the cusp of a recovery because rates are peaking so as rates come down, markets pick up.”

Shee, who has worked at DBS for about eight years, told Reuters he was quite confident about hitting the target, barring any “black swan” incident, with reference to the plan for boosting the bank’s wealth assets.

He stated that DBS aims to have doubled the number of wealthy clients with assets worth at least S$1 million by the end of 2026, pointing out that the bank’s high net worth clientele has grown by more than 50% over the preceding two years.

The population and worldwide wealth of high-net-worth individuals grew by 5.1% and 4.7% respectively, in 2023, which reversed the decline of 2022 according to the June 7 release of the Capgemini Research Institute’s World Wealth Report 2024.

According to the research, the wealthy’s tolerance for risk had also increased, as seen by the fact that cash holdings decreased from multi-decade highs of 34% of portfolio totals in January 2024 to 25% in the same month the year before.

Wealth management has emerged as one of the primary sources of income for Singaporean banks, including DBS, which announced record-breaking quarterly results last month and stated it expects net profit to surpass record levels achieved the previous year.

The pattern hasn’t changed despite a S$3 billion money laundering scam that came to light last year and forced the city-state’s officials to step up their monitoring of affluent people entering the nation.

The city-state has seen an increase in the number of family offices, or one-stop shops, that look after the wealthiest clients’ portfolios.

According to government statements they increased from about 1,100 in the previous year to approximately 1,400 last year.

Shee mentioned the controversy involving money laundering and stated that Singapore has always had a strong anti-money laundering policy.

Shee, who was Standard Chartered’s CEO of Indonesia before joining DBS in 2016, continued, “But criminals will adapt their behavior, so we have to evolve with the new typologies of these criminals in order to be one step ahead of them.” One Singapore dollar is equal to 1.3523.

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Reuter.com and Yahoo finance

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