SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - DBS Group Holdings expects to expand its wealth management operations as Asia's wealth grows, accounting for as much as 20 per cent of the bank's total income over the next few years, Piyush Gupta, the CEO of Southeast Asia's largest bank by assets, said.
"Our (wealth management) business has doubled in the last 5 or 6 years and is close to 15 per cent of DBS's top line income. Our ambition in the next few years is to get it to 20 per cent of the bank," said Gupta, ahead of a Reuters Newsmaker on Thursday (March 2).
Under Gupta, 57, who took over the reins in 2009, DBS has more than doubled its profits, broken into the ranks of top five private banks in Asia Pacific and turned around its underperforming Hong Kong unit.
DBS and the private banking arm of rival Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp are jostling for market share in a highly competitive wealth management business in Asia, led by global players such as UBS and Citigroup.
DBS has diversified its business franchise to focus more on transactional banking and wealth management but the bank still earned about 70 per cent to 80 per cent of its profits from Singapore in recent years, highlighting its dependency on its home market.
Gupta said he does not believe acquisitions "at scale" are the way to go for DBS, but the bank will continue to consider bolt-ons to expand its presence overseas.
Income from DBS' wealth management unit jumped 19 per cent to S$1.7 billion in 2016. State investor Temasek Holdings owns a nearly 30 per cent stake in DBS.