Reports

HSBC Outlines Scope Of Wealth, Personal Banking New Division

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 3 March 2020

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HSBC has set out more detail on the way that its new wealth and personal banking business group, announced a few days ago, will work. The bank is restructuring its operations to recover its fortunes after being hit by a large fall in profits for 2019.

HSBC, which, as recently announced, is streamlining its business to boost efficiency, yesterday set out more details on its plans to combine retail banking, wealth management and private banking into a new unit. 

The new group is called Wealth and Personal Banking (WPB), with a combined $1.4 trillion of assets and therefore one of the world’s largest. Almost half of the assets are from Asia: the Hong Kong/London-listed bank has, like some peers, pivoted towards the region in recent years. Across Asia, where wealth pools are growing faster than in any other region, HSBC’s wealth revenues grew by 12 per cent in 2019 (year-on-year) to $5.7 billion.

Wealth and personal banking will cover the spectrum of private wealth, from retail clients to ultra-high net worth individuals, HSBC said in a statement.

“This move creates one of the world’s largest and fastest growing wealth franchises, centred in Asia and serving clients around the world. HSBC’s wealth propositions are compelling, increasingly digital and support individuals no matter where they are in their wealth journey, from first time investors – to clients considering generational planning needs,” Charlie Nunn, chief executive of WPB, said. 

In 2019, HSBC grew affluent from emerging high net worth clients globally in Premier and Jade, respectively, by 7 per cent and 14 per cent year-on-year. Over half of Jade’s total clients globally are in Asia. (Premier customer primary eligibility is based on an average total relationship balance of $100,000 or more with market variance; Jade customer primary eligibility is based on an average Total Relationship Balance of $1 million or more with market variance.)

Global private banking, where profit before tax grew by 19 per cent, attracted a record $23 billion of net new money in 2019, two thirds of which was in Asia. 2019 also saw an increase in Asia client assets of 22 per cent to $151 billion.

Recruitment
HSBC said recruitment for wealth teams across Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China is “on track”. Since 2017, both businesses have recruited 800 people, including private bank relationship managers, investment counsellors, UHNW solution specialists and product specialists, and Jade directors and relationship managers, investment and insurance specialists.

Last year, four Jade Centres were opened across Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. This year, HSBC has recently opened two more centres in Hong Kong and plans to open one in Beijing.

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