DBS to cut wage growth and hiring this year, says CEO Piyush Gupta

DBS Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta speaks during their fourth quarter earnings announcement in Singapore on Feb 22, 2016.
DBS Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta speaks during their fourth quarter earnings announcement in Singapore on Feb 22, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - DBS will be more cautious with its hiring and staff salary increments this year, chief executive Piyush Gupta said on Monday (Feb 22).

"We're slowing down our hiring," Mr Gupta said when announcing DBS' fourth quarter and full year results. "We hired well over 1,000 people in 2015, and we expect to hire much less than that this year. We're also calibrating down our average wage increase for this year, with a bias towards the senior staff,"

DBS, which employs over 22,000 staff, saw its expenses rise 13 per cent to S$4.9 billion in 2015. But in the fourth quarter of last year, expenses went down 1 per cent on lower staff costs , chief financial officer Chng Sok Hui noted.

"We achieved savings S$203 million from group wide strategic cost management programme, which were 8 per cent higher compared with 2014," she said.

Singapore's banking sector is now under some public scrutiny on their employment plans, following a string of announcements by global banks on restructuring and job cuts over the past year that have affected Singapore.

Local banks have yet to follow suit with layoffs but the pace of hiring is slowing down. At UOB, employee headcount stood at 25,025 at the end of 2015, just a hair above 2014's 25,009.