New York-based bank Citigroup expects a 10% growth in assets and new clients at its retail wealth business in Asia, with the boost coming from digital banking, as customers go online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank plans to expand its customer base across 12 markets, underpinned by online growth, said Fabio Fontainha, Citi's head of retail banking for Asia Pacific. Fontainha's unit serves clients with investable assets of $100,000 to $10m.
The bank said it hopes to capture new clients from China to India through its investments in online trading, electronic authorisation of documents, and digital systems.
We think wealth is a leading business here in Asia"
"We think wealth is a leading business here in Asia," Singapore-based Fontainha told Bloomberg. "All our digital capabilities are coming into play at this point."
Citi's overall Asia wealth business, including the private banking unit for investors with $10m or more, currently has $265bn in assets.
The retail banking business in the region remains one of the bank's revenue drivers, generating $4.4bn in revenue in 2019, up 4%, and $1.04bn in profit, up 11%.
For Singapore alone, the bank plans to double its wealth-management clients by 2025, while increasing its market share by 5 percentage points to 10% during the same period, the company said.
The bank gets about a third of new clients online and that trend is expected to grow, said Fontainha.