Overview of Banks in Singapore
Singapore is an international financial center whose government practices pro-business policies. The attractive policies, along with its strategic location, make Singapore a banking hub in Southeast Asia.
More than 200 banks operate in Singapore, with the overall banking sector’s assets valued at almost US$2 trillion as of 2019. This guide will outline some of the top banks in Singapore.
The Top Banks in Singapore are:
Developmental Bank of Singapore
The Developmental Bank of Singapore (DBS) was set up in 1968 by the government of Singapore. DBS currently operates over 100 branches across the country. DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia, with branches and offices in China, UAE, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The bank offers a wide range of corporate and personal banking products and services, including consumer banking, treasury and capital markets services, asset management, brokerage services, and equity and debt financing. DBS holds a long-term credit rating of Aa1 (High Quality) from Moody’s.
Net income: SGD 4.75 billion (2020)
Total assets: SGD 650.81 billion (2020)
United Overseas Bank
In 1935, the United Chinese Bank was established in Singapore. In 1965, after Singapore attained its independence, it was renamed as United Overseas Bank (UOB). UOB is the third largest bank in Southeast Asia, with more than 500 offices across 19 countries.
The bank offers a wide range of commercial and personal banking products and services. It also provides private banking and asset management-related services, as well as insurance services. UOB holds a long-term credit rating of Aa1 (High Quality) from Moody’s.
Net income: SGD 2.92 billion (2020)
Total assets: SGD 431.81 billion (2020)
The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) was created as a result of the merger of three banks in Singapore in 1932 – the Chinese Commercial Bank, the Ho Hong Bank, and the Oversea Chinese Bank. OCBC is the second largest bank in Southeast Asia (behind DBS), with 480 offices and branches across 19 countries.
Net income: SGD 3.59 billion (2020)
Total assets: SGD 521.40 billion (2020)
Standard Chartered Bank
A British financial institution with origins dating back to 1858, Standard Chartered Bank is one of the largest banks in the world. It operates over 1,200 branches across 70 countries, with 90% of its profits coming from its operations in Asia.
Standard Chartered Bank opened its first branch in Singapore in 1859, and in 1999, it received a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) license. It maintains 17 branches across Singapore.
The bank offers corporate and institutional clients services in trade finance, cash management, lending, securities services, foreign exchange, debt capital markets, and corporate finance. It also provides private banking services through its private banking division.
Net income: SGD 167.1 million (2020)
Total assets: SGD 111.4 billion (2020)
Hong Leong Finance
Established in 1961, Hong Leong Finance provides various financial services for business enterprises and retail customers in Singapore. “The Banker” ranked Hong Leong Finance in the Top 100 ASEAN Banks in 2018, 2019, and 2020. It operates through a network of 28 branches and 12 SME centers island-wide.
Net income: USD 63.9 million (2020)
Total assets: USD 13.36 billion (2020)
Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York. At present, Citibank operates over 2,600 branches across 160 countries. Citibank first established operations in Singapore in 1902, when it set up the International Banking Corporation
Citibank Singapore offers a wide range of financial services to its customers. Along with investment facilities and deposit accounts, the bank also provides charge cards, mortgages, and insurance products.
Net income: USD 402.74 million (2020)
Total assets: USD 46.56 billion (2020)
HSBC is a Hong Kong/British multinational financial institution and is one of the largest banks in the world. At present, HSBC maintains over 4,000 offices across 70 countries. HSBC first set up operations as one of the banks in Singapore in 1877. The bank played a key role in the post-World War II reconstruction of Singapore.
HSBC Singapore is a Qualified Full Bank and offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services, including retail banking, wealth management, commercial banking, investment banking, private banking, insurance-related services, trustee services, securities-related services, and capital markets services.
Net income: SGD 31.36 million (2020)
Total assets: SGD 28.09 billion (2020)
State Bank of India (SBI)
One of the largest commercial banks in India, State Bank of India (SBI) operates several offices and branches across the world. SBI Singapore is a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) and offers a wide range of services to both individual and corporate customers.
They include retail banking services, savings and deposit accounts maintained in various currencies, mortgage loan services, insurance services, and asset management. The bank oversees five branches, 25 SBI ATMs, and over 200 ATMs via the shared island-wide ATM5 network.
Barclays is a British multinational financial institution with operations in 40 countries. Barclays Singapore office, its biggest in Asia, serves as the regional hub for all its Asian private banking business.
Bank of China
The Bank of China is one of the largest state-run commercial banks in China and one of the top banks in Singapore. It was founded in 1912 and is the fifth-largest bank in the world in terms of market capitalization. The Bank of China set up its first branch in Singapore in 1936. At present, it holds a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) license.
The bank offers a wide range of financial products and services, such as local and foreign currency deposits, remittance, personal loans, wealth management services, charge cards, unit trust and insurance products, forex trading, securities investment and management, trade financing, corporate lending, structured finance, investment advisory services, custodial services, investment banking, asset management, and RMB services.
Investment Banking Careers
To break into investment banking, there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map:
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This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in Singapore. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: