This news service continues its interviews with firms and individuals that have made a big difference this year, as proven by their achievements in WealthBriefing's European awards.
Grant Parkinson, head, CPBB, Europe at Standard
Chartered Private Bank, talks to Tom
Burroughes, group editor of WealthBriefing,
following the bank's recent success in this publication's
annual awards for Europe.
What sets you apart from your peers this year and why?
Quite simply, our aspiration is to be the leading international private and priority bank for emerging market clients. Our trusted global brand, built on a heritage of over 165 years in international banking, continues to be a key attribute. Standard Chartered’s unique worldwide footprint (59 countries) provides clients with advice and access to some of the biggest growth markets around the world. We have a relentless focus on our clients; they’re at the heart of everything we do.
In Europe, we bring together priority (high net worth individuals) and private banking (ultra-UHW individuals) services for wealthy individuals across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Turkey and the UK from a world-class Jersey platform, and our London and Dubai Advisory Centres. Additionally, our industry experience puts us in an ideal position to provide private banking services to both new arrivals and existing UK resident non-domiciled (RND) individuals.
We have an expertise in ESG investing and are thought leaders in this space. Each year, we publish our annual Impact Matters publication on sustainable development topics, covering healthcare and education to environmental issues. Our “Impact Philosophy”, a structured series of questions and metrics, helps to engage our clients on their passions. We’re finding that more clients are applying an ESG and “impact” lens to their investments, so the private bank has a dedicated Sustainable Investing team, who collaborate with the product, strategy, legal and compliance teams to leverage their specific areas of knowledge.
How have your colleagues contributed towards the success of your organisation?
Without doubt, our people are our biggest strength. This has been crystal clear over the past year. The team’s resilience, adaptability, commitment and passion for continuing to serve our clients during a global pandemic is remarkable. This award is their award; I’m proud of what they have achieved and would like to thank WealthBriefing for the external recognition.
Our success is also down to the relationships we build with our clients. We are a team whose nationality and ethnicity reflect our client base, enabling us to truly understand and serve them better. A colleague who can speak the local language, share the culture/ethnicity, address a client’s needs and grow authentic relationships in their communities is a huge asset. For example, recently a relationship manager in the Africa team in London advised a Nigerian corporate client who was looking for geographic diversification for excess liquidity held in their business.
Even, in my leadership team of ten, we represent a range of experiences and ethnic backgrounds - seven nationalities! Employees from diverse backgrounds contribute different ideas and perspectives, which creates better collaboration and innovation.
What are you going to do to stay on the front foot in a fast-growing but also challenging region?
We have a clear and focused strategy for our Europe region and a new simplified operating model, and we will continue to do what we do best. It’s what we call the three As: Affinity with emerging markets served for over 165 years; Access to our network and capabilities; together with specialist Advice to seize dynamic market opportunities.
Equally, it is important for us to stay on the front foot when it
comes to technology and respond to our clients’ evolving needs.
Clients receive the best client experience from wealth managers
who really take the time to understand their specific nuances and
needs, relationships which can only be truly developed through
face-to-face conversations that build deep, connected and
personal client engagement. However, the role of technology must
not be ignored and digital transformation is at the core of our
Here in Europe we are digitalising client onboarding to empower relationship managers to prospect beyond their borders and be future-ready. Innovative use of video conferencing solutions is an alternative to face-to-face meetings and has also improved the client experience. Increased client registrations have driven the adoption rate of our award-winning* Standard Chartered Private Bank mobile app to 62 per cent (53 per cent growth in number of users since January 2020). Eighty per cent of clients globally give our app a 4* rating. Since March, private banking clients can now view their accounts booked in London, Jersey, Hong Kong and Singapore through one app. In May, we will roll out our next generation mobile app for priority banking clients.
* Digital CX Awards 2020
What challenges have you had to overcome to reach your present standard?
Similar to most across the industry, the ongoing market volatility, client uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic and net interest margin reduction present challenges. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we’ve helped our clients to find new opportunities. For instance, with net interest margins so low, clients have been searching for yield and taking positions they may not previously have considered.