DBS, founded in 1968 by the Singapore government, is a multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Singapore. It provides: consumer banking; treasury services; asset management; securities brokerage; and equity and debt fund-raising services, to clients and investees across 18 markets. In 2021 it had 33,000 employees and SGD 686 billion in total assets.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues lies with DBS’s board of directors. Additionally, the financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), DBS has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses absolute financed emissions. In terms of financing for climate solutions, the financial institution discloses the aggregate amount of finance it devotes to climate solutions, such as green loans, renewable and clean energy loans and green bonds. These climate solutions are defined according to internationally adopted frameworks.
DBS discloses the amount of finance it directs towards small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In terms of workforce diversity, the financial institution discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by gender and age group. The financial institution has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external individuals and communities to raise human rights concerns and complaints. DBS discloses a global tax strategy and assigns responsibility for this strategy to the board of directors.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, DBS could link the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Moreover, while the financial institution monitors its pay gap, there is no evidence that it takes action to address it. The financial institution also has an opportunity to disclose the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. Regarding gender equality, the financial institution has an opportunity to reach at least 40% women on the board of directors. DBS also has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees, across its financing activities.
DBS is planning to set an interim decarbonisation target in 2023. It has an opportunity, therefore, to disclose an absolute emissions reduction target of 45% by 2030. The financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with, specifically on alignment with the Paris Agreement. Regarding financing for climate solutions, while the financial institution aims to increase sustainable financing to SGD 10 billion by 2024, there is no evidence that the financial institution discloses time-bound targets explicitly for its climate solutions. No evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative nature- and biodiversity-related impacts.
There is no evidence that DBS has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect either the human rights laid out in the UNGPs or the ILO declaration on fundamental rights at work. Furthermore, the financial institution has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. Furthermore, it could disclose the amount of finance directed towards usually excluded groups or to low-income developing countries.
More about the company
Net income: SGD 14.3 billion; Total assets: SGD 686 billion