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DBS named World's Best Bank by Euromoney, a first for an Asian bank

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DBS has been named the World's Best Bank by Euromoney magazine in a first for an Asian bank.

Euromoney editor Clive Horwood said DBS represented what a bank today should look like, noting: "No other institution has worked so hard to embrace and lead digital disruption."

He added that DBS had embedded "digital innovation into everything it does - with a tangible positive impact on the bottom line".

The bank has a "clear-sighted focus on sustainability that positions it well for the years ahead", Mr Horwood noted.

DBS Group Holdings' first-quarter net profit rose 9 per cent to $1.65 billion from $1.52 billion in the same period last year on the back of higher interest rates and growth in non-trade loans.

The bank's latest award follows two other honours last year. Global Finance magazine named it Best Bank in the World last August, and Financial Times publication The Banker named it Bank of the Year - Global three months later.

They were both nods to the digital transformation the bank has undertaken in its drive to be a technology company. It has launched a digital bank in India that has acquired more than 2.5 million customers while needing only a fifth of the headcount compared with the traditional brick-and-mortar set-up.

It also has a digital bank in Indonesia that started in August 2017 which now has over 460,000 customers.

DBS changed the way it worked to improve its customer service as part of its digital drive. It devised a system that pre-empted customers having to telephone the call centre for help, among other initiatives.

For instance, DBS noticed that customers would call the bank if their cards were retained by automated teller machines and they needed help to retrieve them. Instead, the bank now sends a text to customers before they can call to reassure them that it is working on retrieving the card.

The latest award was presented to DBS group chief executive Piyush Gupta in London on Wednesday.