DBS has been recognised as the ‘World’s Best SME Bank’ yet again, entrenching the bank’s position as a global industry leader in partnering SMEs to grow and expand their businesses across borders and digitally.
DBS’ latest global best SME bank accolade comes from leading UK-based financial publication Euromoney, which has honoured DBS with the ‘World’s Best SME Bank’ title for the second time since 2018.
Louise Bowman, Editor of Euromoney, said: “DBS has applied its customary digital innovation to the SME space with great success. This is not just a Singapore story: DBS has more than half of its SME book outside of its home base, and our review period was characterised by impressive growth in India, Southeast Asia and China.”
Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, DBS has tapped on emerging technologies relentlessly to help SMEs, especially micro and small enterprises, manage their credit risk. DBS has developed algorithmic models powered by artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics that alerts the bank to potential signs of trouble faced by SMEs. With these capabilities, DBS was able to successfully identify over 95% of non-performing SME loans at least three months before the businesses started experiencing credit stress. Of these, over 80% of borrowers accounting for more than SGD 700 million in loans were averted from risk.
As a result of its robust credit processes, since 2020, DBS has approved over 16,300 collateral-free loans totalling more than SGD 7 billion to SMEs in Singapore, with over 90% of the loans going to micro and small enterprises.
Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking, said, “We are honoured and thrilled that Euromoney has chosen to recognise DBS as the World’s Best SME Bank once again. We are encouraged that our commitment to support our customers and the SME community through thick and thin has been recognised. As SMEs emerge from the pandemic, they are walking into intensifying macro-economic headwinds, geopolitical tensions and supply chain turmoil. In all operating environments, we will continue to partner our SMEs to proactively manage their cashflow and liquidity needs while cheering them on to keep up the momentum of their digital transformation and business expansion journeys.”
Euromoney also awarded the World’s Best ‘Financial Innovation of the year’ to DBS’ Fixed Income Execution (FIX) Marketplace, Asia’s first automated digital bond issuance platform where issuers can directly connect with investors on the platform at their sole discretion.
Launched in 2021, FIX Marketplace aims to propel efforts to create a more efficient and accessible capital market through digitalisation, thereby creating more inclusive and accessible markets for issuers.
Bowman said, “FIX Marketplace was a classic example of DBS not just waiting for the future to come but helping to design it. FIX Marketplace is an important step in the digitalisation of the capital markets.”
DBS also won another two first-time awards – it was named Asia’s Best Bank for Wealth Management, beating established global private banking peers; and Hong Kong’s Best Bank, dethroning a bank with an extensive global network which had won the award for 21 consecutive years.
Bowman added, “DBS achieved strong profit growth in Hong Kong as the established names experienced sharp falls. Groupwide investment in digital, and some sensible decisions around sector exposures, have paid off for the bank while others have struggled.”