Private banking 2012: Keeping it local in China
Despite internationalization, local is still considered best when it comes to private banking advice. To find out why, Euromoney spoke to two of the sector’s leading figures.
It is widely acknowledged that China is becoming more international, as seen with its currency, banks and resources companies. But when it comes to private banking advice, the preference is still overwhelmingly local.
Only one international bank makes an appearance in the China section of Euromoney’s private banking survey – and that is HSBC, which, despite more than a century of history in China, manages just fifth place in overall private banking services – one place lower than last year.
Beyond that, the locals have a stranglehold on local private banking services – and there’s a pretty tight-knit group of them too: ICBC, China Merchants Bank and Bank of China split the top rankings between them, with a glimpse of Bank of Communications at fourth in overall private banking services.
So, why is local still considered best?
Zhang Qi, ICBC Private Banking
Partly it’s about the sheer scale of the market: these banks are best placed to capitalize on the pace of expansion of China’s wealthy. "Recent years have witnessed an astonishing surge in the number of high-net-worth individuals [HNWI] in China," says Zhang Qi, general manager of ICBC Private Banking.