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When SPH & DBS team up well, S’pore Inc can be Awesome

In Banks, Media, S'pore Inc on 10/01/2012 at 5:51 am

If anyone thinks that SPH’s publications have lost their clout because of new media, citing the bad reception that Pay Wayang, SMRTgate and PondingGate got from the public despite these publications spinning all the way for the White Side, the way that they covered DBS’s CloneGate shows their clout, even in the age of new media.

Customers were reassured, and the usual moaners were ignored by the public even though DBS is part of the Temasek Group (that S’poreans love to hate partly because its CEO is the wife of the PM), and the public and its customers often view DBS as dysfunctional.

SPH’s publications when combined with an effective public communications strategy is a fearsome tool.

DBS got its strategy right, moving “quickly to assure customers that their losses will be covered and investigations are underway. Experts were immediately put on air not to put a spin on why it’s not a big deal, but rather explain concisely how the scam probably occurred and is being carried out,” Words of the Cze. (If it had tried to weasel its way out, I for one would have asked how come the data theft could have occured at two high traffic ATMs, and why OCBC or UOB were not hit first? Why was DBS so dysfunctional?)

Don’t believe me? Reading ST (and MediaCorp’s freesheet) even I tot DBS was being generous in quickly compensating its customers until I read this in ST’s Forum. It reminded me (a trained lawyer who did a lot of banking legal work) that  it was DBS that lost money, not the affected customers, “When someone deposits money with a bank, he is in effect lending money to it. Property rights to the money pass to the bank. In return, the bank owes its customer a debt. At that point, any money stolen or pilfered from the bank is its money, not its customer’s,” SMU academic. (BTW, I get the impression that a very impt KPI for SMU academics is how often they are quoted in the local MSM. One wonders if they have time to do other things.)

The PAP, SMRT and PUB did not get their public communications strategy right (see the above link on what PUB and SMRT did wrong) and SPH could not play its traditional constructive, nation-building role in helping out the White Side.

Coming back to DBS. When its CEO early last week ( his second anniversary at DBS) came out boasting of his achievements, I tot, “Nemesis” and “What bad news is he foreshadowing?”. Well Nemesis has struck and DBS has reacted very, very well to what could have been a major public relations fiasco. As to the bad news, “Watch and wait”.

But DBS is no longer dysfunctional. Could it be a turnaround situation, worth investing in? In Q3 2011, DBS’s return on equity was ahead of OCBC and UOB. BTW I own Haw Par shares which is a play on UOB.

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  1. [...] Disappearing Dollars from DBS – sgboleh: DBS/POSB Card Scamming incident – Words Of The Cze: Line – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: When SPH & DBS team up well, S’pore Inc can be Awesome [...]

  2. We must understand that we are not always be able to have the whole cake and eat it all the time. Even the Pope has advice that the World HAVE TO HAVE FINANCIAL ETHICS WHICH HE SEES AS LACKING NOT ONLY IN SINGAPORE BUT WORLDWIDE. I would also say that most businesses in Singapore lacks business ethics which is real. “As the saying goes even coffin they also want to sell” To Monopolize almost everthing that is sure win or have interest with their cronnies is no good for the Country.

  3. Like I said, as long PAP in-charge and Temasek alive and kicking, just invest in all those GLCs and collect dividends lah. Golden age coming and Sinkies becoming dafter. Just grab money can liao lah. Just be aware to put in the right type of moving stop loss.

  4. In any developed countries, you need good spinners. We have SPH while Malaysia has Bernama.

    The official spinners and “unbias” new media each has a role to play to encourage active citizenry.

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