chart chart chart

Singapore banks Q1 earnings: Strong core amid macro risks and market volatility

Equities 4 minutes to read
APAC Research

Summary:  While Singapore banks delivered around 10% y/y decline in net profits in Q1, we need to remain mindful of the base effects and market volatility that generally deterred trading and investment incomes. While the macro environment continues to provide headwinds, Singapore banks remain well positioned amid the rising interest rates environment as net interest income rises, and regional border reopening is likely to aid a further recovery in loan demand and credit card spending.

All three Singapore banks reported Q1 earnings and coincidentally, each of them have reported a 10% y/y decline in earnings. Investment losses and lower trading income amid the volatile market environment underpinned, but strong core strength was seen on the back of resilience in asset quality. Despite macro conditions continuing to get tougher with the rising inflationary environment and sustained geopolitical stress, Singapore banks remain well positioned as interest rates rise and regional border reopening aids demand.

DBS: Q1 earnings down 10% y/y to SGD 1.8bn beating consensus but lower than Q1 2021 net profit of SGD 2.01bn. DBS declared an interim dividend of SGD 0.36. Total revenue down 3% at SGD 3.75bn, while other net interest income fell 16%. Biggest drag was seen from wealth management but partly due to a strong base for 2021. Loan-related fees rose 21% to SGD 144mn, and card fees grew 11% to SGD 187mn as credit and debit card spending exceeded pre-pandemic levels and travel picked up.

OCBC: Q1 earnings declined by 10% y/y to SGD 1.36bn from SGD 1.5bn in Q1 2021. That was above consensus and underpinned by higher non-interest income which grew 8% on the back of higher trading income and insurance income. Fee income was down but wealth management business saw some traction. Allowances fell 73% y/y, bolstering results.

UOB: Q1 earnings were also down 10% y/y to SGD 906mn, but it was the only one to under-deliver on expectations. Higher net interest income growth of 10% y/y was offset by declines in trading and investment income amid the market volatility as well as structural hedging.

Overall, while Singapore bank earnings slowed down in Q1 due to macro headwinds that mostly dragged down wealth management fees as well as trading and investment income, but robust loan growth, stable loan loss provisions & improvement in net interest margin provided an offset. Inflation and supply chain disruptions present headwinds going forward, and continue to cloud the outlook. Still, Singapore banks remain well positioned in the rising interest rate environment that should provide a boost to net interest income in the coming quarters. Moreover, regional reopening trends will aid a further rebound in pent-up consumer spending via debit/credit cards, and trade loans will also remain supported by higher commodity prices. Risks seen from any increases to general provisions due to rise in inflation.


The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service, and access to analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Inspiration Disclaimer and (v) Notices applying to Trade Inspiration, Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular, no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Trading in financial instruments carries risk, and may not be suitable for you. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Markets or its affiliates.

Saxo Markets
88 Market Street
CapitaSpring #31-01
Singapore 048948

Contact Saxo

Select region


Saxo Capital Markets Pte Ltd ('Saxo Markets') is a company authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) [Co. Reg. No.: 200601141M ] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms & Risk Warning to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products such as Margin FX products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo Markets does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website are not intended for residents of the United States, Malaysia and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.