DBS’s headcount has inched down year-on-year, excluding its acquisition of India’s Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) last November.
At end-June the bank’s total workforce stood at 32,341. When LVB transferees are factored out, however, its headcount is 28,642 – that’s 342 less than 12 months previously.
Although DBS did hire last year, especially in Singapore and in technology, the drop in its ex-LVB staff numbers suggests there was also natural attrition and that the firm exercised caution when recruiting during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, DBS employees within both treasury markets and institutional banking enjoyed a productive first half. In treasury markets, H1 profit before tax rose 61% from a year ago to S$607m. Total income increased 31% to a record $934m mainly due to “higher contributions from credit and equity derivatives activities”.
Profit increased 64% year-on-year to S$1.82bn in DBS’s institutional banking division. Net interest income fell, but non-interest income grew 11% from “higher treasury customer flows, capital market activities, trade finance, cash management and loan-related activities”.
DBS’s consumer banking and wealth unit was impacted by low interest rates. Profit before tax fell 3% to S$1.13bn as net interest income fell 33%, more than offsetting the impact of higher loan volumes.
Overall H1 net profit surged 54% to S$3,71bn on the back of falling credit allowances.
Piyush Gupta, DBS chief executive, said business momentum and asset quality have been better than expected as the economic recovery takes hold. “While risks remain, our pipeline remains healthy and we expect business momentum to be sustained in the coming quarters,” he said.