Awards for Distinction 2014 – Singapore


AFD2014_Best Private Bank - Singapore

Bank of Singapore

Renato de Guzman

Renato de Guzman
Chief Executive Officer
Bank of Singapore

Already one of the most fiercely-contested private banking markets in the world, Singapore continues to grow in stature as a key destination for private banks. With the commitment of the local government to building its status through the creation of a consultative regulatory environment and the highest concentration of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) per capita in Asia, the city-state is vying with Hong Kong for the title of private banking capital of Asia. The combination of an increasingly wealthy and growing local population of HNWIs and its status as a global booking centre means that Singapore attracts the biggest and the best players in the market.

One private bank has distinguished itself by its strong financials and credit rating, market-leading product shelf, high penetration of the regional HNWI population and unparalleled local insights. Bank of Singapore, the deserved winner of this award for the fourth consecutive year, has demonstrated beyond a doubt its dominance of the wealth management industry in Singapore across several parameters, including but not restricted to, assets under management (AUM).

Having judged its offering for four years, Asian Private Banker was convinced not only of the scale of the bank’s ambitions for its home market but also of the effective implementation of these strategies. From a total frontline staff strength of more than 200 in 2011, when the bank first won the award in this category, Bank of Singapore now has 304 relationship managers, in addition to its teams in other geographies such as London and Dubai.

Rated Aa1 with a stable outlook by Moody’s, the bank has leveraged its strong financial base to fortify its status as the private bank of choice for HNWIs in Singapore, with over US$51 billion in AUM at the time of the submission for the award. Whilst the number is important as an absolute indicator of the bank’s success, it is as vital, if not more so, as a predictor of its sustainability. With year-on-year asset growth outstripping year-on-year headcount growth by more than double – 14% versus 6%, respectively – the bank is able to demonstrate the longevity of its model.

This elusive combination of growth, profitability, in depth local expertise as well as a superior credit rating and enviable balance sheet strength, has made Bank of Singapore the clear winner in this category for the fourth consecutive year.