Asia’s private banks could see more mergers and acquisitions as the sector faces pressure amid a decline in assets under management (AUM) in the region, according to a senior industry executive.
Sermon Kwan, chief executive of Bank of Singapore’s Hong Kong branch, says consolidation moves among industry players in the region are likely to gather pace, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
But the outlook for private banking remains good overall, especially due to the swelling ranks of China’s rich, Kwan said.
That said, it is hard to give a projection for the industry’s total AUM in the region, given the stock market uncertainties and difficulties faced by some players in luring new clients, he said.
According to a survey by Asian Private Banker, the top 20 private banks in the region, excluding those that refused to be interviewed or were located in mainland China, have seen a 4.2 percent drop in their total AUM last year.
The aggregate assets under management amounted to US$1.47 trillion. Meanwhile, client managers have seen their numbers decrease 1.2 percent to 5,191.
Kwan said his bank managed to buck the trend.
According to him, Bank of Singapore expanded its AUM by 7.8 percent to US$55 billion last year, and that it also boosted its number of account managers by 1.3 percent to 314.
The bank announced last week that it was acquiring Barclays’ Singapore and Hong Kong wealth and investment management business.
The deal will result in its AUM getting boosted by 33.3 percent to US$73.3 billion and the account manager number rise to 400.
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