Sunday,14 July 2024

HSBC Singapore to grow share of international wealth management customers

5 min read

Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping

HSBC Singapore is intensifying its focus on international wealth management, aiming to attract more affluent and ultra-high-net-worth clients. The bank has made significant investments in technology, and acquisitions to enhance its competitive edge in the sector.

In an exclusive interview, Ashmita Acharya, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC Singapore, unveiled the bank’s ambitious plans to be the leader in wealth management for affluent and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals. The bank will emphasise investments in technology, infrastructure, and strategic hires to fortify in-house capabilities and expertise. It will also enhance its product and distribution capabilities.

Acharya detailed the bank’s strategy, stating: “We have embarked on a journey where significant investments in technology, human resources, and our physical network are pivotal. Our three new wealth management centres, to be integrated into our branch network by the first quarter of 2025, exemplify our commitment to providing top-tier service and infrastructure.”

These centres are part of HSBC’s broader plan to create a comprehensive ecosystem for wealth management.

The new hires are particularly notable. HSBC Singapore has attracted key industry figures such as former UBS private bankers Tommy Leung, who was appointed as global head of private banking for South Asia, and Kerri Lim, head of UHNW Asia. In addition, Pang Qi Lim, formerly from Fidelity, is now leading HSBC Asset Management as CEO and head of strategic partnerships in Southeast Asia, as well as CEO of strategic partnerships in Singapore.

“These individuals bring a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective essential for our growth and innovation in wealth management,” Acharya said.

She also emphasised the bank’s focus on manufacturing its wealth management products in-house, which she said sets HSBC apart from competitors who often rely on partnerships. The acquisition of AXA Singapore and integration into HSBC Life, as well as the purchase of Silk Road, a firm specialising in real estate investments, illustrate HSBC’s aim to bolster its product offerings directly.

She explained: “These acquisitions allow us to offer unique, tailored investment opportunities to our clients, enhancing our competitive edge in the wealth management sector.”

In a separate media briefing, HSBC Singapore CEO Wong Kee Joo highlighted the significance of Singapore in HSBC’s global operations, positioning the city-state as a wealth hub in HSBC’s international network.

“Singapore’s role as a nexus for wealth creation and management in Asia is undeniable. Our investments here reflect our commitment to tapping into the growing wealth in the region,” Wong stated, underscoring the importance of Singapore’s location and stable economic environment as key factors in attracting international wealth.

Addressing the specifics of the international customer base, Acharya provided further insights, saying: “Our international clientele includes expatriates, global citizens, and non-resident Indians, among others, who require sophisticated cross-border financial services.

“These clients appreciate HSBC’s ability to manage their wealth across multiple jurisdictions, making up a significant portion of our customer base.”

In 2023, international clients accounted for about 40% of HSBC Group’s total wealth and personal banking revenue and contributed to 76% year-on-year growth in new-to-bank customers in Singapore.

Institutions: HSBC Singapore, UBS, Fidelity, HSBC Asset Management, HSBC Life, AXA Singapore, Silk Road
Country: Singapore
Region: Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, ASEAN
People : Ashmita Acharya, Tommy Leung, Kerri Lim, Pang Q Lim, Wong Kee Joo
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