DBS targets wealthy sector with branch expansion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 12:00am

DBS Group Holdings and subsidiary Dao Heng Bank yesterday revealed plans to open as many as 15 priority banking branches as it continues to focus on its wealthier clients.

At a product launch, head of consumer banking Sunny Cheung Yiu-tong said the bank would open between 13 and 15 branches dedicated to its Treasures Priority Banking service, depending on whether suitable locations could be found.

He said some branches would be renovated from existing ones, while others would be new branches.

DBS and Dao Heng Bank have 76 branches in Hong Kong, down from 82 last year as the banks streamlined their operations in the wake of DBS' acquisition.

Mr Cheung said he expected conditions in Hong Kong's banking sector would remain tough this year, adding that weak mortgage loan demand would mean the group's domestic mortgage book would either remain the same as last year or increase by 2 per cent. The bank would also focus this year on selling Asian bond funds and guaranteed funds besides traditional mutual funds and structured deposit products.

Mr Cheung said guaranteed funds, which had been favoured by the investment community in the past year, would become less popular as returns fell.

Two new products, three-year US dollar and Hong Kong dollar callable deposits, were launched by the banks yesterday.