DBS consumer banking/wealth management unit has posted a pre-tax profit of S$589m ($434.5m) for the fourth quarter of 2018.

This is a jump of 29% compared to last year’s figure of S$455m.

Total income at the division soared 21% to S$1.45bn from S$1.2bn, while expenses increased 14% year-on-year to S$806m.

The banking group’s institutional banking arm posted a pre-tax profit of S$812m, up 25% from S$648m in the previous year.

The unit’s total income rose 12% to S$1.49bn from S$1.33bn last year.

Group level results

Overall, DBS group registered a net profit of S$1.32bn for the fourth quarter of 2018.

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This marks a rise of 8% from S$1.21bn in the comparable quarter in 2017.

Compared to last year, the group’s pre-tax profit increased 4% to S$1.54bn while total income increased 6% to S$3.24bn.

Expenses were S$1.5bn for the three months to December 2018, up 11% on a year-on-year basis.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said: “We achieved financial results befitting our fiftieth anniversary, a year when we were also recognised as the world’s best bank and best digital bank. Return on equity of 12.1% was near the historical high of 2007, when interest rates were twice the levels today and capital requirements less stringent.

“The structural improvements we have made to the profitability of our franchise – a shift towards higher-returns businesses, deeper customer relationships and more nimble execution – put us in good stead to navigate the challenges of the coming year.”