Private banking and wealth management can be hugely lucrative, bringing in fees and boosting profits in a way that other areas of banking struggle to match. However, increased regulatory pressures and the emergence of newer, cheaper online competitors are shifting the landscape of the market. Jane Monahan examines an industry at a crossroads.
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As the wealth of Asia-Pacific's high-net-worth individuals continues to swell, so too does the size and reputation of the region's private banking industry. This is leading to speculation about whether its two main hubs – Singapore and Hong Kong – may be growing to such status that one day they will replace Switzerland as the global private banking capital.
As the world’s population ages, the challenges for wealth managers, economists and governments are significant if countries are to maintain productivity and generate growth.
As private banking comes into a new age and begins to show the maturity of a true industry, The Banker and sister publication PWM recognise the players that are emerging as industry leaders in the annual Private Banking Awards.
Investment banks have experienced huge changes since the global financial crisis and are still struggling to adapt their business models. But while the industry might have to make do with much lower returns in future, it is far from being on its knees.
With a global aggregate income of $12,500bn, and spending power beyond that, women represent one of the world’s largest banking markets. Yet most banks still seem unwilling or unable to service the unique needs of their female customers.
Computers have reached such a level of sophistication that they can now outperform their human counterparts at some tasks, a fact that has not gone unnoticed in the banking community. But, while smart machines are increasingly being utilised in customer service and data analysis capacities, advocates of these new technologies maintain that they are designed to complement rather than replace the traditional workforce.
Brazil's private banking business had a wake-up call in 2013 when a stalling economy triggered a slowdown in its growth, increasing competition and forcing banks to look beyond their existing customer base. Now, armed with new strategies and a wider range of products, can Brazil's private banks finally exploit the full potential of this vast and wealthy market?
Recent years have seen private banks hit by heavy regulation, fines and spiralling compliance costs, all of which have taken their toll on profits and brand value. As banking groups redefine their exposure to wealth management across the world, will private banking become a game better played by local and specialised names?
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