HSBC opens family office in Singapore and Hong Kong for crazy rich Asian clients

HSBC is investing US$3.5 billion (S$4.6 billion) and hiring more than 5,000 new wealth planners to grow its business in Asia.
HSBC is investing US$3.5 billion (S$4.6 billion) and hiring more than 5,000 new wealth planners to grow its business in Asia.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - HSBC Holdings is offering its ultra-rich clients in Asia direct access to its investment bankers as the lender targets becoming a leader in managing wealth in an increasingly affluent region.

The London-based bank, which makes the bulk of its profits in Asia, has opened a new institutional family office in Hong Kong and Singapore, which will give access to a full spate of financing and investment products, deal making and institutional market access, the lender said in a statement on Thursday (April 29).

HSBC is investing US$3.5 billion (S$4.6 billion) and hiring more than 5,000 new wealth planners to grow its business in Asia over the next three to five years as part of a broader pivot to the region. Like other banks, it has struggled with low interest rates over the past years and is seeking out more fee-based income to boost profitability.

"We are seeing greater interest from Asian clients who are setting up and expanding family offices, to adopt institutional approaches to build continuity, diversification and resilience in their investment portfolios," said Ms Siew Meng Tan, regional head of HSBC Private Banking, Asia-Pacific in the statement.

In the next decade, about US$1.9 trillion of wealth in Asia will be passed on to the next generation, HSBC said. Globally, HSBC Private Banking attracted US$13.1 billion of inflows in the first quarter, up from $5.4 billion in the same period last year.

The bank is vying with global banks including Citigroup and UBS Group, as it seeks to lure billionaires. Asia-Pacific has 831 billionaires, more than any other region, according to a recent report by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.