HSBC sees double-digit wealth asset growth in Asia by 2023

HSBC Holdings announced the merger of its global private banking and retail wealth businesses in Feb 2020. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - HSBC Holdings expects to achieve double-digit asset growth in its newly combined wealth business in Asia Pacific in the next three years, as it looks to grab a bigger share of the growing rich population, the unit's regional head told Reuters.

The Asia-focused lender in February announced the merger of its global private banking and retail wealth businesses to create a new wealth and personal banking unit, part of a radical strategy overhaul at Europe's largest lender by assets.

The combined wealth business, which came into effect on May 1, manages assets worth about US$1.3 trillion (S$1.84 trillion) globally, with nearly half of that in Asia, where bulk of it is accounted for by its fast-growing mass affluent customer base.

Aiming to become the top wealth manager in Asia Pacific in the medium-to-long-term, HSBC plans to sharpen its focus on clients with investable assets of over US$1 million, said Greg Hingston, regional head of wealth and personal banking business.

"With the combination, there is a big, big focus on family offices going forward. And it all fits within that focus around increasing penetration into the high and ultra-high networth segments," said Mr Hingston, who took over the new role on April 1.

Historical data for the combined wealth business are yet to be reported. The bank's global retail wealth assets in the first quarter grew 6 per cent from a year-ago to US$480 billion, while private banking client assets fell 2 per cent to US$329 billion.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal trade and banking services, Mr Hingston said HSBC had seen increased usage of digital technologies by its wealth management clients.

In Hong Kong, the bank's biggest market, the average monthly forex transaction value through digital channels by its wealth management clients grew 65 per cent in the first quarter and monthly equity trading turnover rose 63 per cent.


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