By Sumeet Chatterjee
HONG KONG (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings PLC 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 $1.3 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 $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 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% from a year-ago to $480 billion, while private banking client assets fell 2% to $329 billion.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal trade and banking services, 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% in the first quarter and monthly equity trading turnover rose 63%.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)