DBS headcount surges while salaries drop

by Adelle Chua09 Feb 2018

DBS’s workforce has surged over the past year, but it’s average employee now earns 5% less than in 2016, according to its full-year financial results.

The bank had 24,174 employees in 2017, 2,000 more than it did the previous year, but its average employee earned $116,034, down from $122,781 in 2016.

Singapore’s largest local bank has not been on a hiring frenzy, adding just a portion of the planned  200 new hires to its technology team.

The increase in the number of employees was due in part to the integration of ANZ staff into its business, reported eFinancialCareers.

In 2016, DBS acquired ANZ’s retail and wealth units in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia, and these units’ staff joined the bank the following year.

Another reason was “technology insourcing” – the practice of moving development jobs in-house when third-party vendors were used before. Some 1,837 insourced and ANZ integration staff were added in 2017.

Staff costs were up 3%, but in per capita terms, these went down 5%.

The bulk of the transitioning ANZ staff played less lucrative and support roles. The ex-ANZ workforce also include staff in China, not in the high-cost markets of Singapore and Hong Kong.

Also, some of the new tech staff are based in Hyderabad in India, where salaries are lower than in Singapore.

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