Another European Firm Considers Selling Its Asian Private Bank - Report

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 10 October 2016

Another European Firm Considers Selling Its Asian Private Bank - Report

A number of European banks have sold Asian wealth businesses in recent years and another is reportedly considering leaving the region.

ABN AMRO, the Netherlands-based lender, is considering selling its private banking arm in Asia, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources.

The bank, the 18th-largest private banking player in the Asia region, would, if sold, follow similar disposals made by Societe Generale and Barclays. There has been a trend of foreign private banks being sold to local Asian firms.

Considerations around a possible sale are at an early stage, and there is no certainty they will result in a deal, the report said. The bank declined to comment when contacted by this publication.

ABN AMRO, which is part-owned by the Dutch government, is carrying out €200 million ($224 million) of cost cuts.

A number of banks operating in Asia are potential suitors. DBS bought SocGen's private bank more than two years ago; this year, OCBC bought the Hong Kong and Singapore private banks of Barclays.

This news organisation has heard that among banks looking to grow via acquisition is Falcon Private Bank, the Switzerland-headquartered firm backed by UAE-based International Petroleum Investment Company. However, Falcon, along with UBS, DBS and Standard Chartered, has been censured by the Monetary Authority of Singapore following a recent investigation into Malaysia-linked transactions, and may require assurance about any actions from the MAS before making Asia-based acquisitions.


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