Private Banking: Global banks seduce southern sophisticates
Search the results Domestic players have done well in maintaining their lead in the southern European high net-worth market. In Greece, Portugal, and Spain, for example, domestic banks continue to top Euromoney’s private banking poll. But international competitors are making strong inroads, particularly among wealthier clients; in Italy, JPMorgan has dethroned domestic leader UniCredit altogether.
Domestic players have a natural advantage in the less-developed private banking markets and among the lower ranks of the wealthy, who are an obvious target with great potential. “In Spain, about 75% of target private banking clients are still using only regular consumer banks and are not enjoying any private banking services,” says Luis Moreno, general manager at Banif, the top-ranked private bank in Spain. “This makes the Spanish market different from other countries where private banking is better understood. Most of our clients do not like to feel forced to have a separate banking relationship from their daily needs or their mortgage, they want a bank that can do all that for them plus offer more tailored services. This type of service is very capital intensive and difficult for foreign competitors to offer.”
The situation is similar in Portugal, where domestic champion Millennium BCP tops the poll for best private bank and fellow Portuguese bank Banco Espírito Santo comes second.