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HSBC Private Banking Unveils New Thailand Offering

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 2 February 2021

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The operation covers client management and advisory assets; clients' money will be booked in the banks in Singapore. The organisation said it is tapping the "massive" opportunity in Southeast Asia. Other large banks are also pushing into the Thai marketplace.

HSBC Private Banking yesterday unveiled its new private banking business in Thailand, the group’s second onshore business in Southeast Asia after Singapore.

The Thailand operation will cover client management and advisory services while clients’ assets will be booked in HSBC Private Banking in Singapore, the lender said in a statement.

The firm said that capturing the “massive opportunity” from Asia’s fast-growing wealth creation and what is expected to be among the world’s biggest intergenerational wealth transfer events is “core” to its “strategic pivot to Asia.”

Saranya Arunsilp, will lead the onshore team as head of global private banking for Thailand. She has more than 25 years of banking experience, including 14 years in private banking. Arunsilp will be supported by a local team of relationship managers and investment counsellors working with the Singapore teams. 

“Our new private bank in Thailand opens up material opportunities for us to serve the fast-growing and increasingly sophisticated private wealth and business needs of new and existing clients in the country,” Siew Meng Tan, regional head of global private banking, Asia-Pacific, HSBC, said. "This also reflects HSBC’s accelerated investments in our wealth, international and digital capabilities in Singapore, where we support an expanding base of international clients, most of whom are from Southeast Asia, which is rapidly coming into its own as an economic powerhouse with fast growing HNW and UHNW wealth.”

Assets held by HNW investors in the region are expected to reach $40 trillion by 2025, more than double the numbers from 2017. The assets of high net worth investors in Thailand are expected to grow by 12.4 per cent to $548 billion by 2025 with more than 100,000 high net worth individuals, the second highest growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since 2016, the Bank of Thailand has relaxed foreign exchange curbs and freed up regulations under its Capital Account Liberalisation Master Plan, for example. 

“We welcome the progressive opening up of the private wealth investment corridor between Singapore and Thailand, which can serve as a pilot for other markets to ‘green-lane’ wealth flows to serve genuine cross-border investment needs,” Philip Kunz, head of global private banking, Southeast Asia, HSBC, said. 

Last year HSBC Singapore expanded private banking capabilities in the ASEAN region by introducing offshore Vietnam coverage to serve the private wealth needs of small- and medium-sized business owners; it launched a dedicated independent asset managers desk; relaunched its UHNW proposition with specialised investment advisory, enhanced wealth planning and bespoke products; and set up a family office advisory team.

HSBC isn't alone in tapping the Thai market. Julius Baer has built a joint venture with Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, for example. In September 2019 DBS Bank announced a partnership between DBS Private Bank and DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand), aiming to double wealth assets under management in Thailand from S$4 billion to S$8 billion by 2023.

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