Singapore’s DBS Group, the largest bank in the country and the biggest lender in Southeast Asia, reported a 20% decline in the third quarter’s net profit.

According to data by tracking website Refinitiv, DBS recorded a net profit of SGD1.30 billion ($960 million) from July to September.

The bank reported SGD1.63 billion ($1.204 billion) in the same period last year.

The decline in the net profit was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The third-quarter results reflect a recovery in business momentum as the region emerges from COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta.

“The rebound in fee income to pre-COVID levels has enabled us to cushion the full impact of lower interest rates,” he added. 

At the same time, he continued, the accelerated build-up of allowances has strengthened their ability to meet the challenges of an uneven economic recovery in the coming year.

“In the long term, Asia’s fundamentals will not diminish. With sufficient liquidity and healthy capital, we remain in a good position to support our customers and communities,” said Gupta.

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