Singapore Bank DBS Pledges S$1 Billion For Social Causes

Singapore’s largest banking group DBS announced it will commit up to S$1 billion (US$739 million) over the next 10 years to improve the lives and livelihoods of the low-income and underprivileged.

In addition, the bank’s 36,000-strong workforce will commit over 1.5 million volunteer hours over the next decade to give back to society.

The bank said it plans to deploy S$100 million each year in Singapore and its other key markets with effect from 2024. This commitment augments existing community initiatives by the bank and its DBS Foundation.

Funds will primarily go towards programmes that aim to support this vulnerable segment in the community, which will include:

  • Helping them cope with immediate daily needs, such as food and housing
  • Giving them the opportunity to break out of the poverty cycle through education
  • Equipping them with important life skills such as digital and financial literacy
  • Strengthening their emotional and mental resilience

Over the next few months, the bank will be identifying key organisations and programmes to partner with and support. For a start, in Singapore, DBS will work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development to support lower-income families and households who need additional help.

“An uneven post-pandemic economic recovery and stubbornly high inflation have exacerbated the plight of the financially vulnerable with some segments of society facing acute challenges in making ends meet,” said Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank.

Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank

“As a purpose-driven bank, DBS has always been active in giving back to society. Amid increasingly challenging times, however, we wanted to intensify efforts to support those with the fewest resources, giving them access to basic opportunities required to succeed in life. With an SGD 1 billion commitment and step-up in employee volunteer hours over the next decade, we hope to make an enduring and meaningful impact to improve the lives of the less fortunate in our midst.”

During the pandemic, the bank created an S$10.5 million “Stronger Together Fund” to support those impacted by Covid-19. In 2022, DBS committed an additional S$100 million to deepen its ability to create an impact beyond banking.

The increased funding is helping to fund DBS Foundation’s expanded scope including its new Community Impact Chapter, and other philanthropic and relief efforts. To date, the DBS Foundation has rolled out 10 community programmes in the areas of digital and financial literacy across the region, with a collective target of impacting 6.9 million lives over three years.