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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

DBS Group's 2017 net profit soars 4% to a record $3.3b

Thanks to broad-based growth in loans and fee income.

DBS Group's 2017 net profit rose 4% to a record of $3.3b (SG$4.39), with total income reaching a new high rising 4% to $8.9b (SG$11.9b). This is from broad-based loans and fee income growth, which more than offset the impact of a lower net interest margin and weaker trading performance.

Productivity gains from digitalisation and cost management initiatives capped expense growth to 3%. The results also included higher allowances due to the accelerated recognition of residual weak oil and gas support service exposures as non-performing assets in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, net profit reached a new quarterly record of SGD 1.22 billion, up 33% from a year ago. Total income rose 10% to SGD 3.06 billion, staying above the SGD 3 billion mark for the second consecutive quarter, as net interest income rose 15% to cross the SGD 2 billion mark for the first time. Total allowances halved.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said, “The results attest to the quality of the multiple business engines we have built and the nimbleness of our execution. We enter the coming year with sustained momentum across our businesses and, more fundamentally, in our digital transformation. The significant increase in dividends reflects the quality of our earnings, the strength of our balance sheet and the improved returns we are generating for shareholders.”

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