DBS, under CEO Piyush Gupta, is not the biggest name in transaction services in Asia, but it is the one that impresses most in its trajectory.
The numbers speak for themselves. The global transaction services division at DBS now accounts for 35% of the bank’s institutional banking business income and grew 17% year on year in 2017. Cash management was the engine room, delivering 32% year-on-year income growth in a record year for the business.
As with everything and everyone at DBS, digital transformation is at the heart of the story in transaction services. We like, for example, the Treasury Prism product launched in October, billed as the world’s first online simulation platform for corporate treasurers, allowing them to experiment with cash and liquidity management structures and work out what will or will not be effective.
DBS became the first bank to deliver real-time end-to-end payments tracking and credit information for telegraphic transfers in Singapore and Hong Kong through Swift’s GPI network. Its Virtual Accounts reconciliation system streamlines accounts receivables; 60 new clients used it 250,000 times in 2017.
Other innovations included enriched consolidated receivables and developments in cross-border cash concentration, multi-currency notional pooling and a leadership role on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s National Trade Platform and Global Trade Connectivity Network.
Perhaps most importantly, DBS is winning business. In 2017, it gained hundreds of new client mandates in accelerated open account trade, leading to double-digit revenue growth in that business, and almost doubling growth in supply-chain financing revenue. It made the largest improvement in quality of any bank in the Greenwich surveys and moved from 17th to fifth place globally in Euromoney’s survey for the best cash management provider.