Industry Surveys

EXCLUSIVE: ABN AMRO Tops Rankings For Best Private Banking Websites

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 12 November 2013

EXCLUSIVE: ABN AMRO Tops Rankings For Best Private Banking Websites

New research - exclusively published here - shows ABN AMRO, Barclays and Coutts were in the top three for the best wealth management websites in 2013.

The private banking and wealth websites of ABN AMRO, Barclays and Coutts come first, second and third, respectively, according to a ranking of 50 firms in the sector by Switzerland-based MyPrivateBanking Research, and reported exclusively by this publication. ABN AMRO also came top in 2012.

In the organisation’s fourth global ranking of such websites on a range of qualities, it said it was “cautiously upbeat” about the overall trends in such websites; although the average score for all the wealth managers evaluated held unchanged, at 61 per cent, as in 2012, this year’s analysis was based on tougher criteria and some entirely new areas of evaluation, such as adaptation for mobile devices.

While there is much talk in the industry about using technology more effectively in wealth management, reports such as this study suggest that as some firms have embraced it enthusiastically, quality is still highly variable.

ABN AMRO Private Banking was able to defend last year’s top spot with a solid showing in both the content section and in contact and interactivity. Second- placed Barclays Wealth achieved a significant improvement in both its score and its ranking in our 2013 website evaluation, especially in relation to the transparency of portfolio performance. Third-placed Coutts also achieved a “considerable improvement” and was “particularly strong at catering for the specific needs of wealthy clients in a focused manner, in areas such as the provision of expert content,” MyPrivateBanking Research said.

In fourth place in the ranking was Societe Generale, and in fifth spot, UniCredit. ABN AMRO scored – out of a possible 100 – 83 points.

“ABN AMRO, Barclays and Coutts have achieved good to outstanding results across almost every required website feature”, is how Francis Groves, senior analyst working on the report, put it. “Overall we see real progress with wealth management websites, but it’s still much too soon for wealth managers to tell themselves that they’ve done all they can,” he said.


Firms reached an average 60 per cent of the maximum score for mobile adaption of their websites (for smartphone users and/or tablet users). There is progress, the report said, in the reduced number of wealth management institutions that are failing to provide a sufficiently distinct website offering for their wealth clients.

Two-thirds of the evaluated wealth managers now have a dedicated web presence for wealthy clients. Compared to 2012, the number of Wealth Management websites that have an effective search function increased, but, with the score for accurate results only averaging about 50 per cent, search performance is still far from adequate.

An area where there is great need for improvement is in the widespread lack of transparency in areas like communicating portfolio performance (average score 19 per cent of possible points), costs and fees (27 per cent), assets under management (41 per cent) and advisor remuneration (24 per cent). Against all of these crucial criteria the average scores actually got worse than in the 2012 evaluations. Also in the important field of social media integration the average score is with 41 per cent only slightly better than 2012.

“Wealth managers should not take comfort that the lack of transparency in respect to portfolio performance and costs is so common. Wealthy investors will go to other more critical sources of information on these topics or will become more attracted to investment alternatives where these sorts of metrics are more easily obtained,” Groves said.

The report analysed the websites of the 50 firms by using 54 criteria, looking for qualities such as ease of use, quality of content, contact options and interactivity.

The following institutions were measured: ABN AMRO, ANZ, Banque de Luxembourg, Barclays, BBVA, Bessemer Trust, BMO Harris, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Bradesco, Charles Schwab, Citibank, Commerzbank, Coutts, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ICICI, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Investec, Itaú Private Bank, JPMorgan, Julius Baer, Lloyds Bank, Lombard Odier, Macquarie, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, Northern Trust, Pictet, PNC, RBC, Santander, SEB, Société Générale, Standard Chartered, SunTrust, TD Bank, US Trust, UBP, UBS, UniCredit, Vontobel, Wells Fargo.

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