DBS Group Aims to Expand its Wealth Assets to S$500 billion by 2026

DBS Group
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DBS Group intends to increase assets under management for its wealth division to S$500 billion (US$369.7 billion) by the end of 2026, according to the unit’s president, as the top Singaporean bank anticipates strong inflows into the country.
Wealth assets at DBS increased by 23% to a record S$365 billion last year, as Singapore benefited from large inflows of wealth into Asia due to its relative political stability, low taxation, and laws that encourage the formation of family offices and trusts.
DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest lender by assets, serves more than one-third of Singapore’s family offices.

“I’m still growing… the market is actually on the verge of a recovery because rates are peaking, so as rates fall, markets pick up,” said DBS’ Group Executive and Group Head of Consumer Banking Group and Wealth Management, Shee Tse Koon.
Regarding the goal for boosting the bank’s wealth assets, Shee, who has been at DBS for over eight years, told Reuters he was quite confident about attaining the target, barring any “black swan” events.
DBS is also aiming to treble the number of wealthy clients with assets worth at least S$1 million or more by the end of 2026, he said, adding that the bank’s affluent and high-net-worth clients increased by more than 50% in the last two years.

The Capgemini Research Institute’s World Wealth Report 2024, published on June 7, revealed that global high-net-worth individuals’ wealth and population increased by 4.7% and 5.1%, respectively, in 2023, reversing the fall seen in 2022.
The wealthy’s risk appetite had also improved, with cash holdings falling to 25% of portfolio totals in January 2024 from multi-decade highs of 34% a year earlier, according to the research.
Wealth management is a key revenue engine for Singapore banks, including DBS. The bank just reported record-breaking quarterly profits and expects net profit to surpass last year’s record.

A S$3 billion money laundering scandal, which surfaced last year and prompted Singapore authorities to tighten their enforcement of inflows of cash and rich individuals into the country, has failed to reverse the trend.
The number of family offices, or one-stop shops, that manage the wealthy’s portfolios in Singapore has increased. According to government statements, they increased to roughly 1,400 last year from approximately 1,100 the previous year.
Regarding the money laundering issue, Shee stated that Singapore’s anti-money laundering framework has always been strong.

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