Awards for Distinction 2019 – Best Private Bank – Hong Kong

Best Private Bank Hong Kong


HSBC Private Banking

Best Private Bank – Hong Kong

Ivan Wong

Co-Head for North Asia, HSBC Private Banking

“We are delighted to be named Best Private Bank in Hong Kong by Asian Private Banker. This award is a great recognition of our unique ability to connect clients to the most comprehensive range of wealth, business and family succession solutions available in Hong Kong, drawing on the full global capability of the HSBC Group. Over the past three years, we have invested heavily in our solutions capability, recruited significantly to expand our client teams and support teams, and delivered a refreshed UHNW client proposition. The hard work we put into transforming our business led to a very strong year of performance and growth in 2019, and I am confident we are positioned to deliver even better support our clients through 2020 and beyond.”

Winners rationale

With the moniker ‘Hongkong Bank’ still pervasively used by locals, one would be forgiven in mislabelling HSBC as an actual Hong Kong lender, when in fact it has been globally headquartered in the UK since the early 1990s.

Despite this, HSBC has not forgotten its deep Hong Kong roots, and neither has its private bank, which continued to dedicate an enormous amount of resources in the special administrative region and grow substantially amid extant civil unrest.

On the pressures of the very public announcements it made a year prior to double client assets over five years before the end of 2025 and fill 700 roles by end-2022, HSBC’s progress in 2019 was phenomenal and, put less emphatically, par for the course.

The bank gripped firmly on a ‘one bank’ strategy and reaped tremendously by looking inwards to the organisation’s massive client base, establishing an infrastructure of collaboration (including structured staff incentives and connectivity teams), and delivering group-linked, globe-spanning solutions to clients.

To put ‘tremendous’ in numbers: 60% of 2019’s net new money came from interdepartmental referrals.

These accomplishments were supported by a two-year US$100 million allotment to developing technologies that enhance the client experience. In 2019 alone, the bank launched ‘Wealth View’ for clients’ investment portfolios, ‘Global View’ to link client accounts between the private bank and the retail and wealth management division, and secure instant messaging to facilitate client-RM communications. Also, it primed itself for an extensive enhancement of its core front-end private banking platform and an implementation of a brand new back-end.

All this was complemented by a comprehensive advisory offering, an open architecture platform comprising a diverse range of quality global and boutique names, and an expanded investment team dedicated to constantly helping clients steer through foggy or choppy markets.

Further, HSBC Private Banking’s revamped strategy allowed it to rethink the way it serves the group’s UHNW clientele. In one instance, an ultra client of its commercial banking arm, after a major liquidity event, was referred to the private banking after seeking options for his excess capital. Buttressed by years of confidence in dealing with the commercial bank, the client set aside more than US$100 million with the private bank for a trust and estate mandate, with more plans afoot for additional legacy planning.

Such stories are rife within HSBC and each contributed to some 23% growth in the private bank’s UHNW asset base in the 11 months up to November. All in all, client assets in Hong Kong achieved the same rate of growth — an impressive feat, especially when considering the private bank’s already sizeable presence in the city.

HSBC Private Banking is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Hong Kong for 2019.

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