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Banking

Latin America's rich demand more

Latin America's high-net-worth individuals have followed their peers in the rest of the world in demanding more sophisticated and personalized services from their private bankers.

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LATIN AMERICA'S WEALTHY are becoming more discriminating about the advice they receive from private bankers. They are much less likely to accept advice based on discretionary relationships and require a broader range of services, from stockpicking to succession planning. Competition for market share in private banking is increasing and bankers think an economic rebound in Latin America will create wealth and spur demand for offshore and onshore private-banking services. They also expect Latin America's fragmented private-banking market to move towards consolidation.

Preserving wealth for high-net-worth individuals has been a tough call for Latin America's most seasoned private bankers over the past three years. The rich have been hit by a succession of blows: the collapse of technology stocks in 1999 and the onset of the global recession in 2001; the economic collapse of Argentina; political turmoil and capital flight in Venezuela; and upheaval in Brazil in 2002.

According to the most recent world wealth report produced by consultancy Capgemini Ernst & Young and US broker Merrill Lynch, the number of high-net-worth individuals in Latin America fell by 10,000 to 270,000 in 2002. However, assets of high-net-worth individuals increased by 2.7%

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