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DBS CEO’s pay plummets amid digital banking disruptions and record profits.

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TLDR:

  • DBS Group, Singapore’s leading lender, reported record-breaking full-year results with a net profit of S$2.39 billion ($1.78 billion).
  • Despite the strong performance, CEO Piyush Gupta faced a significant reduction in compensation due to digital banking disruptions.
  • Last year’s digital banking outages prompted a 30% reduction in CEO Gupta’s pay, totaling S$4.1 million.
  • DBS has faced regulatory actions and reputational damage due to the disruptions, including a six-month ban on acquiring new business ventures.
  • However, the bank remains committed to improving the customer experience and enhancing reliability in digital banking services.

Singapore’s DBS Group, the country’s leading lender, announced record-breaking full-year results with a net profit of S$2.39 billion ($1.78 billion) in the quarter ending December 31. Despite the strong performance, CEO Piyush Gupta experienced a significant reduction in compensation due to digital banking disruptions that occurred last year. The disruptions led to a 21% cut in variable pay for DBS’ group management committee, with Gupta’s pay seeing a deeper reduction of 30% amounting to S$4.1 million.

The digital banking outages that happened in 2023 resulted in regulatory actions against DBS, including a six-month ban imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore on acquiring new business ventures and reductions in its local branch and ATM networks. Gupta has publicly apologized for the disruptions and has assured prioritization in resolving the digital banking issues. DBS reiterated its commitment to enhancing customer experience and improving reliability in digital banking services, promising alternative channels for payments and inquiries in case of future disruptions.

Gupta, who has been at the helm of DBS since November 2009, has overseen the bank’s expansion into key markets such as India, Taiwan, and mainland China. Under his leadership, DBS has strengthened its wealth management arm, becoming one of Asia’s largest in terms of assets under management. Despite anticipated challenges such as softening interest rates and geopolitical tensions, Gupta expressed confidence in sustaining the bank’s performance in the upcoming year.

The outcomes of DBS’s strategic initiatives to address digital banking disruptions and maintain customer trust will likely influence market perceptions of the bank’s long-term resilience and growth prospects. The bank’s results will also set the tone for other major Singapore banks, including United Overseas Bank Ltd. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, who are set to report their results later this month. Analysts speculate on the sustainability of DBS’s growth trajectory amidst expectations of declining interest rates in the coming year.

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