Mongolia's best private bank 2019: TDBM
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Mongolia's best private bank 2019: TDBM

Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia

Any objective look at the economic landscape in Mongolia suggests it is a place where private banking shouldn’t exist, much less thrive. It has long been an esoteric pursuit in a frontier market that lacks a deep stream of affluent customers. Per-capita income is all of $4,100.

And yet, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia has made an impressive go of it year after year, easily winning our award for best private bank. In 2004, it pioneered an onshore industry servicing those with assets exceeding $200,000.

Others quickly caught on, with Golomt Bank, XacBank and others jumping on the private banking bandwagon.

With more than 20% of the market, TDB still leads the pack. Its VIP suites in downtown Ulaanbaatar – including in the swanky and buzzy Shangri-La complex – are pulling in new business. They are ideal spots to host invitation-only events for top wealth-management clients, as well as prospective new ones.

More important is what comes next. The nation’s millennials and Generation Z ranks are among Asia’s most wired. They’re coming of age amid a tech unicorn arms race in east Asia, including in neighbouring China.

As the ranks of young Mongolian innovators grow, so in theory will their net worth and need for private banking services. TDB is expanding its outreach to younger Mongolians by offering risk-management lessons.

TDB is also following the old-economy money. There’s growing optimism that the presidential election in 2020 will see record stimulus pumped into the economy. That could be a boon for well-positioned executives working in construction, energy, retail goods, transportation and wholesaling.

There’s speculation, too, that pre-election jostling will break a few bureaucratic logjams; a key one is the listing of Mongolia’s prize mine.

Talk is that president Battulga Khaltmaa wants to alter the perception that the government is incapable of turning Mongolia’s mineral wealth into an economic boom.

If any bank is positioned to service the winners of that initial public offering, it is TDB.

TDB’s slogan – ‘Your success, our pride’ – works both ways, of course. The better its current and future clients do in an economy on the move, the more TDB’s bottom line benefits too.

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