VP Bank, the Liechtenstein-based private bank, is expanding its wealth management operations in Asia to target the region’s increasing wealth and rising number of HNW clients.
The move comes as the bank lost clients in Europe in the last four years due to tax compliance issues.
Liechtenstein, once famous for its banking secrecy laws, signed up for global financial disclosure standards in 2014 as it tried to shed its reputation as a tax haven.
The country’s banks — which include LGT Bank AG and Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG — were required to stop doing business with foreign clients who were unwilling to come clean on their tax affairs.
VP Bank has been hiring in Singapore and Hong Kong, and is studying partnerships with order to gain more wealthy Chinese clients, according to chief executive Alfred W. Moeckli.
“We’re looking at various possibilities” to tap into the China market, Moeckli said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“We have this all behind us, so we can now look forward and don’t have this tax compliance issue of our clientele any more,” Moeckli added. He noted that the bank lost about a third of its customers since 2014 due to the tax issue.
The exodus mainly involved clients from European countries, especially Germany.
The six-decade-old bank claims it is bringing a client-centric European-style banking to Asia, offering clients a wider choice of personalized wealth management options.