Santa Clara University


Company Specifics

Founded: 1968
Headquarters: 6 Shenton Way, DBS Building Tower One, Singapore 068809
Ownership Structure: Owned by the Singapore government
Employees: 15,000
Product/Service: DBS Bank, an Asian banking specialist, provides a full range of financial services aimed at fulfilling the total banking and financial needs of individuals and their businesses. Active in corporate, retail and investment banking, DBS Bank is one of Singapore's main sources of medium and long-term financing. It is actively engaged in providing short-term banking facilities, including trade financing and working capital financing. It also provides investment banking services, portfolio management services and custodian services. The Bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.



Mr. Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman



Mr. Hwee guided us through the current vision of DBS as well as its future goals and strategies.  He displayed his extensive knowledge of all aspects of the business, from growth strategies to the corporate culture, and was very candid regarding his involvement in the company.


Key Takeaways

Deep roots in Asia
With 91% of its revenue coming from Singapore and Hong Kong, DBS has a growth strategy of capitalizing on the largest markets in Asia.  The cautious and regulated banking environment in Singapore and the sense of unity and community present in the Singaporean culture are defining factors in DBS’ approach to doing business in Asia.  This can be seen in DBS’ mission to be one of the leading banks in Asia instead of the leading bank in Asia.


Organic growth strategy
DBS’ growth is characterized by acquisitions and new banks and branches, although it realizes that regulations might block certain desirable acquisitions.  Currently, growth is not a source of concern, as all segments of the market are growing at 30-40%.


Developing internal culture
Mr. Hwee stated that “banking failures are a result of a breakdown of the culture.”  Because the banking industry attracts individuals focused on money, it is a goal of DBS’ to attract employees with strong values.  DBS looks for employees who have integrity, energy and enthusiasm, and are enterprising.


Posted by: L. Hallberg

The Chairman addressed us in this elegant conference room at DBS.


Professor Toppel presented our host with a signed book to show our appreciation.


Professors Toppel and Tsay posed for a closing photo with Chairman Hwee.


Professors Toppel and Tsay and a few students awaited the rest of the group outside the DBS tower.
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