Established on 16 July 1968 by the Government of Singapore to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board, the bank's main purpose was to provide loans and financial aid to the manufacturing and processing industries and to help establish and upgrade existing industries in Singapore. In 1960, the Singapore government invited a United Nations (UN) industrial survey mission to assess the economical situation in Singapore and to come up with an industrialization program for the city. The proposal included setting up a development bank, together with an economic body to attract foreign investments and provide financing and managing the industrial estates. The bank was incorporated in July 1968 and began operations in September of the same year.
Presently, DBS Bank is a multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Marina Bay, Singapore. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted in July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a regional bank. The bank was set up by the Government of Singapore in July 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board. Today, its branches numbering more than 100 can be found island-wide. DBS Bank is the largest bank in South East Asia by assets and among the larger banks in Asia, with total assets of S$482 billion as at 31 Dec 2016. It has market-dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore and Hong Kong. The bank's strong capital position, as well as "AA-" and "AA1" credit ratings by Standard & Poor's and Moody's that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, earned it Global Finance's "Safest Bank in Asia" accolade for six consecutive years, from 2009 to 2015. The Bank was also awarded the Best Digital Bank in the World in the year 2016 by Euromoney. With operations in 17 markets, the bank has a regional network spanning more than 250 branches and over 1,100 ATMs across 50 cities. On 15 April 2010, DBS Bank launched mobile banking service, mBanking, to both DBS and POSB customers. It allows customers to view their banking and credit card accounts, transfer funds and pay bills via their mobile phones. Customers will need to download an application from the google play store or iTunes app store by searching DBS mBanking or POSB mBanking to use the service. mBanking was already soft-launched on both DBS and POSB websites on 10 April 2010 with more than 2,300 downloads. Customers using mBanking will be protected by DBS Bank's 'money-safe' guarantee. The bank promised reimbursements if there are any unauthorised transactions. As of 2013, there were 839,000 mBanking users in Singapore.
Headquartered in the commercial capital of Mumbai, DBS operates via a network of 12 bank branches across India in Bangalore, Chennai, Cuddalore, Hyderabad, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Moradabad, Mumbai, Nashik, New Delhi, Pune, Salem and Surat. DBS India had a 37.5% stake in DBS Cholamandalam Finance, a non-bank financial institution, in April 2009, it transferred its shares to the parent company Tube Investments of India Limited, thus terminating its shared holder agreement in Cholamandalam DBS.