DBS Group achieved a record performance in 2023 as net profit rose 26% to S$10.3 billion ($7.67 billion), according to a February 7 announcement. The Singapore bank's return on equity climbed from 15% to a new high of 18%.
Total income grew 22%, exceeding S$20 billion for the first time, driven by a higher net interest margin, a rebound in fee income and record treasury customer sales, the bank said. For the fourth quarter, net profit grew 2% from a year ago to S$2.39 billion.
A 9% rise in total income to S$5.01 billion from higher net interest income and non-interest income resulted in a 7% increase in profit before allowances to S$2.8 billion, the bank said. Total allowances of S$142 million were higher than a year ago when there had been a "general allowance write-back".
Compared to the previous quarter, net profit fell 9% due to a lower net interest margin and seasonally lower non-interest income.
The board determined that the variable compensation for the CEO and other members of the group management committee should be cut to hold them accountable for a series of digital disruptions during the year. Their 2023 variable compensation was collectively reduced by 21% from the previous year despite record 2023 profits.
After a series of system issues impacting customers last year, the bank was banned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for making M&A deals for six months in November 2023 and also to not reduce the size of its branch and ATM networks in Singapore.
The board determined that the variable compensation for chief executive Piyush Gupta and other members of the group management committee should be cut to hold them accountable for a series of digital disruptions during the year. Their 2023 variable compensation was collectively reduced by 21% from the previous year despite record 2023 profits.
Gupta took a pay cut of 30%, which amounted to S$4.14 million. DBS said it has made a "whole-of-bank effort and committed S$80 million to implementing its technology uplift and resilience roadmap."
DBS said that these efforts will help the bank to better pre-empt disruptions to its services, provide customers with alternate channels for payments and account enquiries during disruptions, and shorten incident recovery time. Going forward, “the bank will continue with its investments to sustain efforts to provide reliable services to customers.”