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Business Advice

At DBS, it's service tailored to community

Idea extended to all DBS and POSB branches after sales increase in trial
The Straits Times - March 30, 2012
By: Magdalen Ng
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At DBS, it's service tailored to community -- PHOTO: DBS

DBS BANK is extending a scheme that allows branch managers to tailor services to the needs of their particular communities, much as a business owner would do.

Activities on offer differ from branch to branch and range from a simple tea session to an investment seminar.

The idea was piloted in eight POSB and four DBS branches at the end of 2010 and has generated encouraging sales figures, according to a briefing yesterday.


The average monthly investment sales at a branch with the older operating model was up by 35 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the first quarter.

Branches operating under the new business model recorded average sales increases of 84 per cent.

The new model has been rolled out to the 67 DBS and POSB branches since the start of the year, prompting branch managers to come up with their own initiatives.

Ms Joycelyn Tan, branch manager at the POSB Compass Point branch, even engaged a fengshui master to give a talk to about 40 customers ahead of Chinese New Year in January.

Ms Tan also has plans for some family-friendly activities to cater to the many young families who live in the Sengkang area.

'I think these activities help our customers know who we are, and when we establish a relationship, they will know we are there when they have any needs,' she said.

Such customer engagement activities, coupled with an effort to lower banking costs and cut queue times, have improved the public perception of POSB, said Mr Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of the consumer banking group at DBS.

Last year, DBS Bank came out tops in the banking sector, in an annual customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Singapore Management University.

Long queue times have always been cited by many customers as a major bugbear. DBS tackled the issue in a number of ways. One was to add 61 banking outlets through a landmark partnership with SingPost.

These outlets carry out similar banking functions as those in basic branches. DBS corporate banking customers can also deposit cash bags at four SingPost branches.

Mr Koh Kar Siong, managing director and head of POSB, said queue times have been slashed by an average of 20 per cent.

DBS also worked on ways to optimise its branch network.

Mr Sim S. Lim, DBS Bank's Singapore country officer, said most customers usually have basic banking needs, such as replacing passbooks, that do not warrant going to a full-fledged branch.

These customers can visit 17 basic banking centres where they can open an account or apply for a mortgage in addition to services that can be performed at ATMs.

Mr Lim also gave an update on the ATM-skimming incidents that occurred earlier this year.

He said at the briefing that the bank is mailing EMV-chip-enabled ATM cards to all its customers and enhancing its 1,100 ATMs to read them.


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