DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) has a positive outlook for its profitability this year in light of recovering consumption, increasing popularity of green loans and a booming wealth management business, DBS general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) said yesterday.
Among the four subsidiaries of foreign banks in Taiwan, DBS was the only one that posted rising profits last year, and the momentum would continue this year, Lim said on the sidelines of the “2021 DBS Singapore Festival” in Taipei, which allows the public to sample Singaporean delicacies until Sunday.
The bank has seen credit card spending rebound in the first quarter, while it also gained solid fee incomes from its corporate financing business, which provides corporate clients with not only regular loans, but also trade financing and digital solutions such as an application programming interface, Lim said.
Photo: Lee Chin-hui, Taipei Times
While DBS remains focused on offering green loans, the bank would this year concentrate on solar energy projects, amid a boom in the industry due to a greater area in which solar panels can be installed than wind energy projects, Lim said.
The bank mainly offers loans to ground-mounted solar power plants and floating solar projects, he added.
By comparison, loans to offshore wind energy developers might have peaked, and it would take a few years until they might peak again, as the government has concluded its phase 1 and 2 auctions for offshore wind energy projects, and phase 3 is not yet scheduled, Lim said.
Loans to solar energy developers are often based on concrete projects and require expertise, Lim said, adding that the bank sends staff for training at the headquarters of DBS Bank Ltd in Singapore.
“Over time, with more talent familiar with project financing, and more solar and offshore wind projects under development, Taiwan can become a regional hub for solar energy project financing,” he said.
As Taiwan’s solar energy sector is dominated by foreign firms, it is important that DBS employees speak English, Lim said, adding that the bank aims to provide bilingual services at all its branches.
Meanwhile, the bank expects fee income from wealth management services to continue growing this year on the back of revamped digital platforms and better services, Lim said.
Among all the Singaporean parent company’s global operations, Taiwan last year ranked third in terms of profit contribution from consumer banking and wealth management, after Singapore and Hong Kong, he said.
Although DBS Bank Ltd is reportedly bidding for parts of Citigroup Inc’s consumers business in Asia, Lim said that no decision has been made, adding that the Singaporean bank is open to any opportunity to increase efficiency.
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