StanChart eyes $100 bln private bank assets in growth push

HONG KONG: Standard Chartered is targeting growing its private banking assets by 50 percent to about $100 billion in three to five years and hire dozens of bankers in Hong Kong and Singapore toward that goal, a senior executive of the lender said.

The moves show StanChart has big growth ambitions for the private banking unit that had until recently weighed on the lender’s earnings, with its small size stoking speculation it would be put under review for possible divestment.

PeoPle pass by the logo of Standard Chartered plc at the Sibos banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. Photo: Reuters

The lender will recruit 30-40 private bankers every year in the next two to three years to add to its roughly 300 existing relationship managers, and the bulk of the additions will be in Hong Kong and Singapore, StanChart’s global head for private banking and wealth management Didier von Daeniken told Reuters. With $65 billion worth of private banking assets, Londonheadquartered StanChart is a small player compared with UBS which, as per Asian Private Banker data, had assets worth $2.3 trillion and Credit Suisse, with $770 billion last year.

The private banking business accounted for just 3.8 percent of StanChart’s total profit before tax in the first-half of this year. “Our ambition is to see us cross the $100 billion mark. That makes us meaningful internally for the group, that makes us a meaningful player in this landscape,” Daeniken said.

“Hitting $100 billion can give us credibility internally, help us to attract talent.” StanChart’s private banking business caters to wealthy individuals across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, through booking centres in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, India, London and Jersey island. The unit had weighed on the group’s earnings in the recent past, as it sought to reposition the business to target rich individuals with at least $5 million in investable assets amid stiff competition in Asia, which brings in bulk of its revenue. – Reuters