The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Private banking bonanza prompts difficult decisions

Asia’s private banking ranks continue to swell as a benign market lures in more entrants. Costs are escalating and so is product pricing. Market growth may yet hide banks’ hubris but any reversal in trends could leave some dangerously exposed. Chris Leahy reports.

Dressing up, dumbing down

IN SINGAPORE’S tropical heat, only two types of businessmen sport suit jackets: visitors ignorant of local attire and the private bankers that ply their trade in what is Asia’s key wealth management centre.

These days there are plenty of jacketed, well-heeled private bankers around Raffles Place and along Collyer Quay since the industry has been on a relentless hiring spree for years. Asian private banking is enjoying a bonanza. According to Boston Consulting Group, from 1999 to 2004, total wealth of households in Asia ex-Japan had a compound annual growth rate of 7.4%. There is little sign that growth is likely to slow much either. BCG forecasts wealth in Asia will grow by an additional annual 6.8% over the next five years.

That makes Asia comfortably the fastest-growing market for wealth management globally and explains why banks are falling over each other to set up shop and are hiring like mad.

Phillipe Damas, ING “If you want to generate long-term profits you have to avoid product pushing”
Phillipe Damas, ING

“We’re at the five-to-midnight stage,” says Kurt Schenk, country coordinator, Asia Pacific, and executive director at Dresdner Bank Switzerland in Singapore.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree