DBS Group has posted net profit of SGD838m for the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 4% from a year ago.
For the October-December quarter, a 9% increase in total income to SGD2.34bn was offset by higher allowances.
The bank’s net interest income rose 15% to SGD1.67bn as loans grew 9% in constant-currency terms and net interest margin rose 10 basis points to 1.71%.
The bank said that its fee income increased 5% to SGD459m, led by higher contributions from wealth management, cards and investment banking.
“The higher fee income was offset by a 20% decline in other non-interest income to SGD207m as a result of less favourable trading conditions. Income from treasury customer flows was stable,” the bank said in a statement.
The group’s fourth quarter total non-interest income was 4% lower at SGD666m.
Expenses grew 9% to SGD 1.13 billion as higher staff costs were partially offset by lower computerisation expenses. Profit before allowances increased 8% to SGD 1.21 billion.
Total allowances were 40% higher at SGD211m as specific allowances increased to SGD157m from SGD91m a year earlier.
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said, “DBS hit a new milestone, with full-year profit exceeding SGD4bn in 2014. This is testament to the strength and resilience of the franchise. We believe that the multiple business engines we’ve built are sustainable and scalable. As the way in which people do banking is rapidly changing, we are also stepping up our investments in digital banking.”
The bank’s board proposed a final dividend of 30 cents per share for approval at the forthcoming annual general meeting. This will bring the full-year payout to 58 cents per share, unchanged from a year ago.