HSBC to add 50 retail wealth management jobs in Singapore to capture wealthy clients
'As we build Asia wealth ... there is a really significant opportunity in Singapore, not just onshore Singapore, but offshore Singapore,' said Kevin Martin, Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management.
London-headquartered HSBC is planning to add 50 more staff to its retail wealth management segment in Singapore by the end of this year, as part of the 300 staff to add into Asia, as Europe’s largest lender by assets shifts it focus towards Asia’s affluent.
In Singapore, other than the new wealth staff count, HSBC will be launching new digital offerings as well, Kevin Martin, Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management told Reuters in an interview.
‘As we build Asia wealth ... there is a really significant opportunity in Singapore, not just onshore Singapore, but offshore Singapore,’ he said in the interview.
Although the bank did not reveal its current wealth management headcount in Singapore, it is understood that the bank’s wealth management presence in the country is smaller than in Hong Kong and China.
HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management arm attends to clients with less than US$5 million of investable assets. Clients that exceed that threshold are roped into the bank’s private banking unit.
Singapore’s wealthy, newly-minted affluent millionaires
According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2018 Global Wealth Report, there are 183,737 millionaires in Singapore, a growth of 11.2% from middle of 2017 to the time the research was conducted which was the middle of 2018.
Credit Suisse predicted that the number is slated to grow 5.5% every year to reach 239,640 people by the year 2030.
The country has around 1,000 ultra-high-net worth individuals, the report added, who are individuals who hold more than US$50 million (S$69 million) in wealth, a 1.1% increase compared to records from a year ago.
Singapore a regional banking hub for wealthy Asians
Beyond the pool of potential local clients, there are also opportunities to generate business from regional clients as many foreigners are storing their wealth with Singapore.
Based on a survey from Asian Private Banker in July 2018, 58% of respondents ranked Singapore as the most preferred offshore wealth management hub, followed by Hong Kong, Switzerland and London.
HSBC agrees on that point, as Mr Martin said in the interview that the bank is looking to target both onshore as well as offshore clients, with a large number of rich individuals in China, India and other Southeast Asian nations looking for wealth management services in Singapore.
The bank is not the only one who is looking at capturing higher income individuals in Singapore. In February, UOB launched its first high street wealth banking branch in the country, targeting "emerging affluent" individuals.
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