Citi to open its largest wealth hub globally in Singapore in December

An artist's impression of the client meeting space at the Citi Wealth Hub at 268 Orchard, which opens in December. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MINISTRY OF DESIGN

SINGAPORE - Citi will open its largest wealth advisory hub in Orchard in December as it targets an increase of its market share in catering to the well-heeled.

The hub, named Citi Wealth Hub at 268 Orchard, will occupy an area of 30,000 sq ft across four floors at the same address in the shopping district.

It will house more than 30 client advisory rooms and cater to Citigold and Citigold Private Client customers, said the bank on Tuesday (Sept 29).

Citigold is the bank's wealth management service for customers with at least $250,000 in investible assets.

The Straits Times understands that the bank's investment in the hub is in "double-digit millions". Some 300 relationship managers, advisers, specialists and staff will move from the bank's existing branches to the wealth hub when it opens.

The bank has 12 branch locations in Singapore, down from 14 at the start of this year. The bank said that close to 90 per cent of its retail banking customers use digital platforms for their daily banking needs, while less than 1 per cent of transactions take place in Citi branches.

It added that the hub will allow Citibank Singapore to have deeper conversations about wealth with customers, while serving their simple transaction needs digitally.

At the hub, clients can meet their relationship managers and have access to a team of specialists at a central location.

Citibank's International Personal Bank clients may also use the hub if they wish to transact cash services while visiting Singapore.

The hub will also have facilities to host investment seminars and events for clients.

Mr Brendan Carney, chief executive officer of Citibank Singapore and head of consumer banking for Citi in Asean, said: "We see a great opportunity for us to serve the growing affluent segment in Singapore, and believe in the need to continue enhancing our client value proposition by investing in this new wealth hub. As we continue to grow our business, we will look to open more of such hubs in the future."

Yen San Building used to stand at 268 Orchard Road, and Citibank previously had a branch in that building. The bank now plans to open its largest wealth advisory hub by the end of this year at that same address. PHOTOS: ST FILE, BT FILE

The bank said it aims to achieve double-digit growth in market share and number of clients in the wealth segment in the next few years.

The new hub will have a biophilic design and it will target to be green-certified. Biophilic design is based on the idea that humans have an inherent need to connect with nature, even in modern settings.

Client meeting rooms will be named after national flowers and trees found in countries and jurisdictions where Citi has a presence in, with some transformed into "garden pods".

An antimicrobial coating will be applied on all high-touch surfaces and safe distancing of at least 2m will be enforced. All rooms will be disinfected after each use and plexi guard shields will be installed throughout the hub as a precaution against the transmission of the coronavirus.

The US bank is among several players in the wealth management scene here. HSBC in March announced the launch of a new global business - wealth and personal banking - which combines retail banking as well as wealth management and global private banking. It said it is in the midst of recruitment for wealth teams in Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

As for local banks, United Overseas Bank last year launched its first high street wealth banking branch model at Faber House in Orchard Road to complement its online channels in a bid to better equip "emerging affluent" customers with investment knowledge.

It defines this group as those aged between 25 and 44, with between $100,000 and $350,000 in investible assets.

DBS Wealth comprises three client segments - Treasures, Treasures Private Client and Private Bank - for customers with minimum investible assets ranging from $350,000 to $5 million.

OCBC Premier Banking and Premier Private Client offer customers access to 13 premier banking centres here. They can also get investment advisory services from the OCBC Wealth Panel, which features experts across the group's units.

This article has been edited for clarity.

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