Awards for Distinction 2012 – Trust & Advisory Services


HSBC Private Bank

Christopher Marquis

Christopher Marquis
Managing Director and Head of Private Wealth Solutions, North Asia

Never before have trust services been as important a differentiator for private banks in Asia as they are likely to be over the next decade. With the region poised for a wave of inter-generational wealth transfer, ultra high net worth families are increasingly concerned about wealth protection. Where a private bank is able to demonstrate that it can help families plan and implement a structured approach to this transfer, it will move up the value chain from facilitating capital-generation to being a dependable custodian and advisor.

HSBC Private Bank has distinguished itself on many counts as the preferred provider of trust services to Asia’s wealthy. The group’s legacy in the region gives it an undeniable first-mover advantage. Indeed, some of its Hong Kong and Singapore-incorporated trust companies date back to the late 1940s, an indicator that it was almost always the primary option for clients looking to establish trusts in the region.

Yet despite HSBC Private Bank’s impeccable pedigree, Asian Private Banker notes that the bank has not rested on its laurels, instead using this heritage as a platform from which to catapult to greater heights. Continuously investing in its trust business, HSBC Private Bank today employs over 350 professionals for its fiduciary services team in Asia. The quantum of resources it has dedicated to nurturing its trust business and its dedication to growing this team, irrespective of market cycles, have served to set HSBC Private Bank apart from its peers.

Quality has not, in this case, been compromised for quantity, and the bank’s trust relationship managers and legal and fiduciary specialists have proven to be best-in-class – a point clearly reflected by its US$60 billion in trust assets in Asia. Moreover, HSBC Private Bank’s trust business serves over 2,000 families and administers wills for over 3,000 individuals in the region, many of these relationships being with third-generation clients.

That some clients perceive HSBC Private Bank’s trust services to be comparatively costly further demonstrates its differentiation as a quality provider. “Sometimes clients think that we are too expensive when they compare HSBC with our competitors,” affirms Christopher Marquis, Managing Director and Head of Private Wealth Solutions, North Asia at HSBC. “However, many return to us having compared our unparalleled depth in resources, experience and expertise in Asia over several generations.” To be sure, Marquis’ summation is concordant with Asian Private Banker’s own, leaving no doubt that HSBC Private Bank is the worthy recipient of the Asian Private Banker Best Private Bank – Trust Services award for 2012.