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Published by:
Institute for Management Development (IMD) (2017)
Revision date:
14 pages
Data source:
Field research


This case series examines the two stage transformation of DBS 2009- 2017. In both stages the bank places the customer as the centre of its thinking about how to structure, resource and play in the market. In 2009 DBS was an underperforming national bank with overseas branches, losing traction and lacking a compelling strategy. Under new leadership the A case describes the initial implementation of its turnaround strategy with the objective of creating a competitive world class multinational bank. DBS must decide which overseas market to focus on and how to enter. It raises the issue of the role of the fintechs in shaping the future of banking and its likely impact on the bank's strategy. The B case describes DBS's digital pure-play entry into the Indian market, its strategic reset now with an ambition to be like a 22,000 person start up prompted by its assessment of what the fintech landscape populated by the likes of Alibaba/ant financial. The case describes significant progress but asks whether this is sufficient given how the industry is evolving. The C case describes the company's progress up to 2017 and highlights why Euromoney named DBS as the World's Best Digital bank. It asks whether this progress is sufficient in given the amount of sectoral change.


Digital transformation; Customer centricity; Innovation; Agility; Culture change; Organizational change; Change management; Financial services; Banking; Financial technology
Market Cap: SGD53 billion (EUR33.7bn @ July 1, 2018)
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