Assets under management (AUM) at Asia's top 20 private banks stalled for the first time in three years although Singapore institutions fared marginally better, according to a report yesterday.
It stated that DBS rose a notch last year to sixth place with assets up 2.5 per cent to US$75 billion (S$102 billion). Bank of Singapore held steady at No. 11 with US$55 billion of AUM, a 7.8 per cent jump from 2014.
UBS maintained the top spot for the fourth consecutive year in the league table, with assets rising 0.7 per cent to US$274 billion, said the report by Asian Private Banker trade magazine.
Citigroup followed, albeit with a fall of 17.6 per cent in its AUM to US$210 billion. Credit Suisse rounded out the top three. Its AUM fell 2.2 per cent to US$150.6 billion.
HSBC and Julius Baer were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Total assets at the top 20 private banks in Asia fell 4.3 per cent to US$1.47 trillion, a result of a slowdown in regional economic growth and mounting regulatory pressures, the report said.
It also noted that the the number of relationship managers, who recruit clients and sell services for the banks, fell 1.2 per cent to 5,191 from a peak of 5,253 in 2014.
DBS rose one spot in the headcount table to No. 7 with 289 relationship managers, up 8.2 per cent on 2014. Bank of Singapore maintained its fifth spot with 314, up 1.3 per cent.
The Hong Kong-based magazine began compiling data in 2012.
It also said stringent United States tax compliance law made some banks reject clients with links to the country.
Banks see private banking as a revenue booster because the number of rich people in Asia is rising as the region's economic growth outpaces that of the rest of the world, Bloomberg said.
"The good news is that if there is one bright spot in the wealth management world, it is Asia," the report said. By 2020, the number of millionaires in the Asia-Pacific is set to grow by 66 per cent, according to earlier research.
UBS plans to double its China staff in five years to 1,200, partly by expanding its wealth business in Asia's largest economy, undaunted by the slowdown and stock market turmoil, said chief executive Sergio Ermotti earlier this year.