StanChart to double minimum wealth for private bank clients to US$5m: report

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Standard Chartered is planning to more than double the minimum level of wealth required for its private banking clients globally, according to reports.

The London-based bank, with outposts all over the world, will increase the threshold of investable client assets from US$2m to US$5m this year, and is bidding to concentrate on individuals and families with at least US$30m in investable assets, people familiar with the plan told The Financial Times.

The move could lead to lay-offs for specialists in the ‘high net worth individuals’ bracket and will lead to more hiring of managers with experience in the ‘ultra high net worth individuals’ market that starts at US$30m.

The US bank also said that it would double its minimum for investable assets to US$10m. By focusing on wealthier clients, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, banks can reduce the costs of due diligence and cut the amount of customised investment services, that they provide to each customer.

Recent changes

As reported, in January, Standard Chartered’s private bank added a new market head to strengthen its private banking and wealth management teams in the Greater China & North Asia (GCNA) region, in a bid to meet what it called increasing ultra high net worth (UHNW) client demand at the time.

It has also has had several changes in leadership in recent years. In 2016, it appointed a new global head for private banking and wealth management, Didier von Daeniken, when the previous head departed despite having spent less than two years in the role.

Standard Chartered’s private bank has been particularly focusing its attentions on Asia and its growing number of UHNWI families. ANZ, Barclays and Société Générale have all dropped out of the Asia market, selling their businesses to regional players such as DBS and OCBC.

Smaller private banks have faced rising costs, and industry insiders expect more consolidation in the Asian private banking market this year, The FT added.

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Gary Robinson

Commercial Director, Head of Video at International Investment.