DBS Bank

RATING

SECTOR

Banking

WEBSITE

CONTACT

12 Marina Boulevard,
DBS Asia Central @ Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3,
Singapore 018982

Tel: (65) 6878 8888

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • Forbes #196 on the Global 2000 for 2021
  • Forbes World’s Best Banks for 2021
  • Forbes #305 for the World’s Best Employers for 2019
  • Asia’s 200 Best Over A Billion 2019

EMPLOYEES

29,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Mikkel Larsen

AWARDS

  • 2020 Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility (Asia) by Euromoney Awards for Excellence 
  • 2020 Best Investment Bank for Sustainable Finance (Asia Pacific) by Global Finance
  • 2020 Ethical Procurement Award by Chartered Institute of Procurement 
  • 2020 Risk Mitigation Award by Chartered Institute of Procurement 
  • 2020 Overall Award by Chartered Institute of Procurement 
  • 2020 Best Social Impact Advisor by The Asset’s Sustainable Capital Market Regional Awards 
  • 2020 Best Bank for Sustainable Financing by Alpha Southeast Asia Best Financial Institution Awards
  • 2019 Best Bank for CSR (Singapore) by Asiamoney Best Bank Awards
  • 2020 Best Bank for ESG (Singapore) by Asiamoney Private Banking Awards
  • 2020 Best Sustainable Banke (Singapore) by Finance Asia COuntry Awards 
  • 2017-2020 Champions of Good by Company of Good
  • 2020 Volunteer Partner Award by Community Chest Awards
  • 2020 Charity Platinum Award by Community Chest Awards
  • 2019 Social Enterprise Champion of the Year (Corporation) by President’s Challenge Social Enterprises Awards
  • 2017 Corporate, Large Enterprise Winner by President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award
  • 2019 Sustainability Award (Big Cap, Runner Up) by Securities Investors Association (Singapore) 20th Investors’ Choice Awards
  • 2019 SEC-CDL Outstanding Singapore Environmental Achievement Award by Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards
  • 2019 SEC-STATS Asia Pacific Environmental Achievement Awards (Services) by Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Kavita Kripalani

DBS Bank

SECTIONS :  Sustainability •  Targets    Evaluation •  Key Points  •  Overview

Company Activity

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. is an investment company, which provides retail, small and medium-sized enterprise, corporate, and investment banking services.

It operates through the following business segments: Consumer Banking/Wealth Management, Institutional Banking, Treasury Markets, and Others.

  • The Consumer Banking/Wealth Management segment provides services including current and savings accounts, fixed deposits, loans and home finance, cards, payments, investment, and insurance products.
  • The Institutional Banking segment offers financial services and products to institutional clients.
  • The Treasury Markets segment deals with structuring, market-making, and trading across a broad range of treasury products.
  • The Others segment covers activities from corporate decisions and income, and expenses not attributed to the business segments described.

The company was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Singapore.

Company Sustainability Activity

Their approach to sustainability is guided by a sense of purpose: to create value for the long term, by managing their business in a balanced and responsible way. Their approach to sustainability is based on three pillars – responsible banking, responsible business practices and creating social impact.

Highlights

Partnering customers in the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy:

  • They are raising their sustainable finance target to SGD 50 billion by 2024
  • Launched the Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy
  • Closed SGD 9.6 billion in sustainable financing transactions, up 81% from the previous year

Democratizing wealth and financing services:

  • Launched NAV Planner a digital financial advisory solution leveraging big data and technology to provide customised nudges to customers on financial decisions
  • NAV Planner has delivered more than 30 million financial planning insights to customers
  • Complemented by DBS digiPortfolio, a robo-technology investment platform, for retail customers to build diver

Reducing their operational footprint:

  • They are committed to ensuring net-zero operational carbon by 2022
  • Upskilling and reskilling our workforce for the future 
  • Launched in-house digital training Future Tech Academy to keep their technology workforce updated with relevant cutting-edge skills 
  • over 18,000 employees trained on data management 
  • 2,000 employees trained in data science and business intelligence e-learning modules 
  • Organised AWS DeepRacer Challenge and trained over 3,000 employees on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence and machine learning

Reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency:

  • Across our key markets, 21% of its electricity consumption is from a renewable energy source
  • Commissioned three new solar installations increasing our renewable energy generation capacity by 427 KWp

Supporting the community and making a difference:

  • Contributed close to 57,000 hours of employee volunteering
  • Funding of SGD 10.5 million to help those hard-hit by Covid-19, including 4.5 million meals and care packs

Championing social entrepreneurship

  • Disbursed SGD 550,000 in the inaugural DBS Foundation Business Transformation and Improvement Grant to encourage social enterprises in their digital transformation journey
  • Nurtured over 240 social enterprises, 140% increase year-on-year

Provided record SGD 9 million in grants and loans in support for social enterprises to cope with the impact of the pandemic

  • Content series Sparks Season 2: Everyday Heroes for a Better World raises awareness for sustainability and social entrepreneurship through viewership of over 276 million

Targets

  • Promote financing of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • Encourage and expand access to banking, insurance, and financial services for all
  • Develop sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure
  • Ensure that people have relevant information and awareness for sustainable development 
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making
  • Increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix 
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading, and innovation
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable
  • Halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
  • Improve institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and impact reduction
  • Support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation through access to financial services
  • Increase access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises to financial services

Progress

  • Financed about SGD 597 million of renewable and clean energy-related projects
  • Approved SGD 5.2 billion in mortgage relief for retail customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan and offered free Covid-19 insurance to all five million DBS/ POSB customers and their families
  • Opened new bank accounts for 152,000 migrant workers in Singapore
  • Approved SGD 11 billion in loan moratoriums for companies in Singapore and Hong Kong, primarily for SMEs
  • Provided SGD 40.8 billion in financing to SMEs
  • Applied the Equator Principles to at least eight infrastructure projects since their commitment in 2019
  • Delivered more than 30 million financial planning insights to customers 
  • Published articles on sustainable investing and directly engaged with their  customer
  • Financed about SGD 4.2 billion in sustainability-linked loans
  • Provided SGD 4.8 billion in green loans
  • Underwrote SGD 5.3 billion worth of green bonds
  • Concluded 50 sustainable financing transactions that amounted to about SGD 9.6 billion
  • Achieved commitment of having at least two female Board members
  • Maintained a stable Group Management Committee female representation of 25%
  • Maintained a stable gender-balanced total workforce with 51% women
  • Recruited 50 female technologists out of over 500 applicants through DBS Women in Tech, a specially curated hiring event to bring the best female tech talent into their  workforce 
  • Empowered female employees to take on leadership roles through the programme, My Persona, Woman 3.0, for the third year running
  • Launched a series of unconscious bias training through webinars, online learning and team-based workshops
  • Increased operational energy consumption from renewables across their  key markets to 21% of their  total energy consumption, up from 14% in the previous year
  • Constructed three new solar installations across the region 
  • Increased regional solar production capacity on their  premises by 427 KWp
  • Increased internal mobility rate to 36%, up from 25% in the previous year
  • Launched DBS Match to help employees identify new roles within the bank based on skills and experience
  • Organised gamified learning with Amazon Web Services DeepRacer for more than 3,000 employees to pick up fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning 
  • Trained over 18,000 employees to promote fluency in data use, data science and business intelligence
  • Provided training opportunities for over 600 graduates, postgraduates and mid-career professionals in Singapore through government-supported programmes such as SGUnited Traineeship, SG United Pathway and Technology in Finance Immersion Programme
  • Obtained signatory commitments from almost all new suppliers to their  SSP
  • Reduced office paper usage by 208 tonnes, a 35% reduction against their  2018 baseline 
  • Reduced the volume of cheques generated and processed by more than 20% year-on-year in Singapore, resulting in SGD 1.9 million in cost savings
  • Involved about 3,300 employees who collectively took over 23,000 actions towards reducing food waste 
  • Engaged over 11,700 employees to reduce or recycle food waste, or redistribute up to 150,000 kg of food 
  • Completed the design of net-zero energy concepts, and low energy pantries that use heat pumps and solar-heated water 
  • Completed their internal “Circular Economy Materials Catalogue”
  • Disbursed additional SGD 550,000 to 14 social enterprises across the region through the DBS Foundation Business Transformation and Improvement Grant
  • Made available collateral-free Digital Business Loans of up to SGD 200,000 to social enterprises in Singapore at preferential interest rates
  • Disbursed SGD 1.4 million in grants to 13 social enterprises from key market
  • Nurtured over 240 social enterprises during the year
  • Contributed close to 57,000 volunteering hours to serve communities
  • Benefitted 692 social enterprises under their  Social Enterprise Banking Package, with a total of about SGD 7.3 million in unsecured loans
  • Partnered 19 ecosystem players and launched multiple campaigns across key markets, which reduced or recycled food waste, or redistributed up to 50,000 kg of food 
  • Released Sparks Season 2 dedicated to social enterprises
 

Certificates

  • Green Mark Certified by the Building and Construction Authority Singapore principles and criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). All their Palm Oil customers have aligned themselves with either NDPE or RSPO, or both

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • Board Diversity Policy and Management Policy to promote diversity amongst Board of Directors and employees
  • Increased diversity and inclusion in their  talent pool by increasing female representation in technology
  • Education and awareness to build a more inclusive workplace

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

  • Renewable and clean energy-related loans
  • RE100 global renewable commitments
  • Solar installations on branches and offices

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Financial reliefs for retail customers during the pandemic
  • Digital banking services for migrant workers
  • Financial reliefs for SMEs during the pandemic
  • Variety of financial services for SMEs
  • Continuous learning, upskilling and reskilling
  • Specific programmes to upskill employees’ technology skill sets
  • Training opportunities with specialised programmes for graduates and mid-career professionals
  • Financial reliefs for social enterprises during the pandemic
  • Support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation through access to financial services Financial reliefs for social enterprises during the pandemic
  • Additional grant funding and capacity building for social enterprises amid the pandemic
  • DBS Foundation’s Annual Social Enterprise Grant
  • Nurturing of social enterprises through mentoring and masterclass by DBS Foundation
  • Digital/ financial literacy programmes for elderly and youth

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • Commitment to the Equator Principles, a globally recognised risk management framework adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risks of projects
  • Support for social enterprises through DBS Social Enterprise Package

SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

  • Financial literacy and planning tools and education for customers 
  • Engagement with private banking customers on sustainable investing 
  • Support for institutional clients through sustainable finance
  • Sustainable Sourcing Principles (SSP)
  • Paper reduction campaign
  • Encouraged employees to reduce food waste in their daily lives through a six-week challenge and multiple activities
  • Advocacy and activation of multiple stakeholders and partners to reduce food waste across retail, production, and supply levels

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Advisory and structuring of green loans
  • Advisory and underwriting of green bonds
  • Increased financing to sustainability linked loans, green loans and renewable and clean energy developments
  • Transformation to more sustainable workspaces and regenerative living spaces
 

Evaluation

DBS Bank produces a detailed report describing its commitments to sustainability. They have decent listings and awards, some certificates, and set effective targets.

The company displays transparency through its detailed disclosure of targets and progress. Despite having numerous targets focused on financing renewable energy, climate change mitigation, and equal opportunities, they are non-specific and unmeasurable.

DBS Bank takes a proactive stance in diversity, clean energy, economic growth, innovation, responsible consumption, and climate change. 

Though the company works toward sustainability on multiple fronts, they have room for improvement.

The company achieves a C rating.

Analyst Outlook: Positive

DBS Bank should continue making strides toward sustainability but could improve their standing by aligning with further SDGs, garnering more certifications and awards, and implementing specific KPIs to support their progress.

Key Points

  • Listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index 
  • Since 2018, DBS has concluded over 100 sustainable financing deals worth about S$17 billion. For full-year 2020, the bank ranked first in Bloomberg’s Global and APAC League Tables for green loan principles loans and its APAC (Japan) League Table for green use of proceeds loans for its role as mandated lead arranger.
  • In capital markets, landmark sustainable and green financing transactions done by DBS in 2020 include the US$1.11 billion dual-tranche green project bond by Star Energy Geothermal, PSA Marine’s three-year €30 million-equivalent sustainability-linked loan and the €500 million Korea Housing Finance Corporation Covid-19 social bond.
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