Wells Fargo's Amin: "The growth of our business is strategic around our core customer propositions"

By The Asian Banker Live

Jafar Amin, regional president and head of the financial institutions group, Asia Pacific at Wells Fargo, believes the success of its business cannot only be attributed to its product capabilities, its commitment to the business, and the people on the ground, but also on the bank's investment in risk management and compliance.

Here is the transcript

Jafar Amin: As you know our financial institution’s business globally is the most international part of Well Fargo's international business. And it's a business where we have tremendous market share. And sometimes, it’s hard to grow market share when you are as strong as you are in certain particularly in US dollar clearing. But we've been very fortunate that if I look at the last 12 months, we've continue to really grow wallet share and market share with almost every single FI customer that we want to do business with. And that's universally across Asia Pacific or the Asia Pacific region is one of our largest contributors to group US dollar clearing product profits and revenues. And whilst the overall market as I mentioned has been growing around by 5%. Our fee business in that area has grown 12% to 13% in that region. And there are number of factors for that.

As we talked about, it's not about just our product capability and our commitment to this business and the people that we have in the ground is increasingly seen the importance of investments we’ve made in risk management and compliance both from the teams work within our risk functions who really spent a lot of time with our customers to help them understand what the regulatory requirements are, but also the typologies around that region.

But the partnership approach, I think, really made the difference because we want; we're successful when RFI customers are successful. We don't compete with RFI clients and their home markets that makes a significant difference. And if I look at which markets are growing, for us, China remains a very core market. It's an area where we've taken a lot of market share. Hong Kong, interestingly as an area that we've won a lot of business. We've seen significant growth in markets like Australia, and Taiwan. We've always have a very competitive advantage in those markets. And then Southeast Asia, just overall as a region has been growing really nicely and we have some big wins even in markets like Singapore, which is traditionally been a more challenging and competitive market. 

So, I would say the growth of our business has been very broad-based and really strategic around our core customer propositions and where we want to do business.

So, look, the organisational changes, Wells had a lot of organisational change compared to many other banks in the last few years but we see these changes usually positive. We’ve combined our non-bank businesses in the US with RFI business globally to build a very large financial institutions group led by Lisa McGeough, who took over 10th of April. She comes with a deep understanding of institutional clients. Lisa and I worked together in London for two years when she's running the security business. So that's been very helpful, we know each other well. So, in addition to the clearing and transactional banking trade and lending business that we have in Asia, our securities business has been growing in the US dollar base as well whether that's DCM Group etc. Having that focus with the combined business would be very helpful for our international strategy. And with Perry Pelos taking over as head of wholesale, Lisa reports directly to Perry, which elevates the FI business. We have a bigger profile in the FI business we've ever had before. It's a very profitable business, it's one of the fastest growing business in our wholesale portfolio and it continues to be a business that our senior management believes is adding value not only to our businesses in the US but our clients globally in areas that we have a competitive advantage which includes trade, US dollar clearing, funding to support our business.

So, look, the organisational changes, Wells had a lot of organisational change compared to many other banks in the last few years but we see these changes usually positive. We’ve combined our non-bank businesses in the US with RFI business globally to build a very large financial institutions group led by Lisa Mchale, who took over 10th of April. She comes with a deep understanding of institutional clients. Lisa and I worked together in London for two years when she's running the security business. So that's been very helpful, we know each other well. So, in addition to the clearing and transactional banking trade and lending business that we have in Asia, our securities business has been growing in the US dollar base as well whether that's DCM Group etc. Having that focus with the combined business would be very helpful for our international strategy. And with Perry Pelos taking over as head of wholesale, Lisa reports directly to Perry, which elevates the FI business. We have a bigger profile in the FI business we've ever had before. It's a very profitable business, it's one of the fastest growing business in our wholesale portfolio and it continues to be a business that our senior management believes is adding value not only to our businesses in the US but our clients globally in areas that we have a competitive advantage which includes trade, US dollar clearing, funding to support our business.

So, overall, I see the organisational changes to be very positive. We've also added a sector head, so, April Frazer is global head of banks, brings solutions and knowledge in capital to the banking sector as well as the financial institutions of the non-bank side, we added some sector heads there that we see that's real positive.

Look, Asia as a region is still one of the fastest growing regions in the world. So, we may see challenges from time to time in a geopolitical perspective which gives us reason for pause but globalisation continues. And as I mentioned, US dollars remain the most important in terms of the currency of trade and I feel that position us really well for growth opportunities that exists here in Asia Pacific. It will be a little bit more focus around certain clients and markets that we're going to have. But overall, we're just excited about the opportunities that exist here. 

Categories: Financial Institutions, Financial Technology, Innovation, Technology & Operations, Transaction Banking
Keywords: SIBOS 2017, Wells Fargo, commercial banking, digital banking, technology
From Our Sponsors
From the Web
Diary of Activities
China Private Wealth
06 December 2017 | China
The Future of Finance, Vietnam
12 January 2018 | Vietnam
Malaysia Innovation Tour
19 - 22 March 2018 | Malaysia
Excellence in Digital Finance Convention
22 March 2018 | Malaysia
The Future of Finance, West Africa
19 April 2018 | Nigeria