BEST PRIVATE BANK – NRI
BANK OF SINGAPORE
While Bank of Singapore has long since been a seasoned specialist in managing non-resident Indian (NRI) wealth, 2017 saw the private bank widen the gap on its competitors on the back of the successful integration of Barclays’ Singapore and Hong Kong businesses and thoughtful, strategic changes across its operations in Dubai.
Bank of Singapore has, for some time, developed its book of business in the Middle East, one of the world’s largest NRI capitals. This has included marshalling its plans to expand in Dubai in order to simultaneously focus and expand its service offering on the growing number of HNWIs in the region.
Having received the all-important Category 4 licence to operate a branch in Dubai International Financial Centre, the private bank successfully expanded its product offering with a range of customised private banking solutions across investments, credit and wealth planning advisory services for its ultra high and high net worth clients. The approval has also enabled Bank of Singapore to build its research and advisory capabilities in the region.
To further enhance the firm’s NRI proposition in the Middle East, in early 2016, Bank of Singapore relocated an NRI specialist desk from Singapore to Dubai and so, today, the bank boasts close to 45 managers in the city with plans to hire 20 more relationship managers in 2018. These teams will operate seamlessly across its Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong desks to cater to NRIs in the Arab states.
In addition, the successful integration of Barclays’ wealth business, that began in 2016, saw US$13 billion in assets transferred, further bolstering Bank of Singapore’s already extensive coverage of the NRI segment. The acquisition, involving a sizeable team of NRI bankers migrating to Bank of Singapore, helped bolt the bank’s presence as an NRI bank of choice.
As a result, Bank of Singapore has built a strong base in two locations that account for the top two offshore destinations for Indian wealth – Singapore and Dubai.
Asian Private Banker notes that the Singaporean bank carried out these initiatives through a disciplined, prudent approach to expenditure that has kept its cost-income ratio for the business line far below the industry average.
The bank’s NRI business performance speaks for itself. Bank of Singapore scored high across a number of key metrics in 2017 including high double digit AUM growth and triple digit growth in operating profit – a direct result of significantly increasing the number of client facing staff for its NRI business.
Bank of Singapore is a much deserved winner of Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – NRI for 2017.
“The successful integration of the Barclays wealth business in 2016 further bolstered Bank of Singapore’s already extensive coverage of the non-resident Indian segment. This laid a strong foundation for us to consolidate our position in 2017 as the leading private bank in this space in Asia and possibly globally.
Serving the NRI segment from our three strategic hubs – Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong – has been a key factor in our success. According to Capgemini, Singapore and Dubai were the top two offshore destinations for Indian wealth. Close to 40 percent of their overseas assets were held in these markets.”
The ‘Excellence’ award is handed out on merit alone. It recognises an institution with private banking facilities that has demonstrated industry-leading and quality business growth, a strong sense of value proposition, fiduciary responsibility and a willingness to innovate.