FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Find out which Singapore bank leads in productivity

It has the highest income per employee at $538,805.

DBS and OCBC are the big winners in terms of productivity and cost efficiency, UOB Kay Hian said in a report.

DBS had the most productive workforce with income per employee at $538,805 annually as of 3Q2017, significantly above the $323,465 for OCBC and $361,289 for UOB.

"DBS benefits from economies of scale due to its established presence in Singapore and Hong Kong with market shares, which are major financial centres, estimated at 20.6% and 4.2% respectively," said UOB Kay Hian analyst Jonathan Koh.

Meanwhile, OCBC and UOB's income per employee grew at a faster compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 4.7% and 5.6%, respectively for 2013 to 2017, against 2.1% for DBS.

OCBC’s income per employee stayed flat in 2015 and 2016, possibly held back by the integration of Wing Hang Bank, but had improved 11% YTD in the first nine months of 2017.

OCBC also takes the win in terms of staff cost per employee as it had the lowest one at $83,333, compared to $120,830 for DBS and $87,620 for UOB.

However, DBS’ staff cost per employee grew at a slightly slower CAGR at 3.6% for 2013-17, vs 4.8% for OCBC and 4.9% for UOB.

Staff cost accounted for 61.6% of operating expenses for OCBC despite its lower staff costs per employee, compared to 56% for DBS and 55.3% for UOB in 9M2017.

Meanwhile, DBS has the highest pre-provision operating profit (PPoP) per employee $313,701, compare dto $182,703 for OCBC and $204,284 for UOB.

OCBC and UOB registered faster growth with PPoP per employee expanding at CAGR of 4.4% and 4.9% respectively for 2013-17, against 2.1% for DBS.

Here's more from UOB Kay Hian:

DBS has the smallest workforce at 23,114 despite: a) the acquisition of Societe Generale’s private banking businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong in 4Q2014 and ANZ’s wealth management and retail banking businesses in 3Q2017, and b) increase in headcount of 484 in 2016 and 1,154 in 9M2017 due to insourcing of IT.

Conversely, OCBC had the largest headcount of 29,161 as of September 2017. Its headcount grew 14% after it consolidated Wing Hang Bank in 3Q2014. However, it has trimmed headcount by 2.1% in 9M2017 after digesting the acquisition of Wing Hang Bank.

UOB has kept headcount relatively unchanged as it maintains an ASEAN-centric footprint and did not partake in any major M&As. 

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