DBS sets up $50 million foundation for corporate social responsibility efforts

The DBS Bank in Shenton Way. The bank's $50-million foundation aims to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The DBS Bank in Shenton Way. The bank's $50-million foundation aims to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

DBS Bank has established a $50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With the launch of this DBS Foundation, the bank said it will "scale up its support for communities in Asia".

The foundation's objectives are expected to evolve over time in line with the region's changing needs, said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta at a media briefing on Wednesday.

But in the foreseeable future, it intends to encourage the development of innovative social initiatives. These could include nurturing the social entrepreneurship sector.

The foundation will also provide relief and support to communities in need, such as offering donations in times of natural disasters and crises.

DBS' move aims to address at least some of the challenges that communities around the world are grappling with, such as issues of income inequity and the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of wealthy minorities, noted Mr Gupta.

And such issues will become even more important as the evolution of technology starts to affect a wider range of jobs, which may become obsolete with time.

"Like it or not, there's going to be a fundamental change in the nature of jobs, the kind of jobs people do and the kind of jobs that are available. The Western world is struggling now five years with a job market recovery," he said.

"It's in our view that some of it is not just cyclical but structural - there's a change in the nature of work itself. And if that theory is right, then this issue of income inequality and the haves and have-nots is actually going to get exacerbated over coming periods of time."

The foundation is being launched in conjunction with Singapore50, to mark Singapore's 50th year of independence next year.