Private Banking Survey 2017: Wealth leaders face a tough balancing act

Rate hikes, regulation, investing in people and technology – the CEOs of the top ranking private banks in the 2017 Euromoney private banking survey discuss how to balance the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.


Illustration: Barry Downard

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While the world’s wealth continues to rise, low interest rates and a challenging macroeconomic environment mean that revenues for those that manage it are under pressure. 

In a survey by Euromoney of more than 2,000 private bankers around the world, respondents say they are less bullish on revenues for 2017 than in previous years. Some 67% of bankers say they expect revenues to be higher than in 2016, down from the 73% expecting higher revenues last year and 78% expecting higher revenues in 2015. More bankers are instead expecting revenues to be lower than in the last three years.

  

 
"The challenge we face as an industry of top-line growth is very real," says Jürg Zeltner, president of UBS Wealth Management, which was voted the best global private bank by its peers in Euromoney’s 2017 private banking survey. "Our industry post-crisis lost 30% to 40% of its net profit margin, and that’s here to stay. It’s a different mindset and strategy that we now need to ensure we stay relevant."