As Asian wealth matures, an increasing number of the region’s wealthy are making philanthropy a priority. According to industry estimates, a quarter of high net worth individuals globally say charity is a top spending priority and the wealthy in Asia are not an exception – in Singapore individual charity contributions, which include philanthropy, have increased significantly every year since 2006. China, meanwhile, has seen explosive growth in private foundations, a function of both recent liberalisation of the sector and low public trust in existing charities. Along with this heightened awareness of and support for charitable causes, there is a definitive shift towards a structured and deliberate approach to giving. A large number of private banks in Asia have partnered with their clients to find the worthiest causes and the most efficient means to support them, often donating their own time and resources to do so.
Credit Suisse is a proven leader in providing clients philanthropic services in Asia and is this year’s deserved winner of the Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction Best Private Bank – Philanthropic Services. The bank has extended its partnership with clients engaged in philanthropy to a deeper, more meaningful level and fully justifies its motto of “Going one step beyond just giving advice.”
As proof, Credit Suisse launched the SymAsia Foundation in early 2010 as a platform for philanthropic giving that offers potential donors a comprehensive and well-established infrastructure to realise their philanthropic ambitions and support their preferred charitable causes in an efficient manner. As an alternative to setting up their own charitable foundations, donors are able to establish individual foundations within the framework of SymAsia.
They enjoy exclusive naming rights and are able to determine the charitable aims to be pursued and the ultimate beneficiaries of their donations. With Credit Suisse absorbing all administrative costs, donors bear no start-up and running costs for setting up their foundations under this framework. While SymAsia is only one part of Credit Suisse’s service offering to clients interested in charity, we at Asian Private Banker felt that it was not only an important differentiator for the bank but also a commendable step in encouraging philanthropy throughout the region.