It’s mid-year results season, so I will take this opportunity to vent my frustration at the lack of granularity in many banks’ financial statements when it comes to their regional private banking businesses. Clearly I’m a proponent of full disclosure and I think it is fair to say that only a few banks at best come close to offering near-complete transparency.
Credit Suisse APAC, for example, typically provides PB-specific top and bottom line figures, including a fairly decent breakdown of revenues and expenses, AUM and margins on client assets (net and gross), NNA flows, RM numbers and even a C/I ratio for its WM & Connected segment.
UBS is less transparent at the regional level, although it does disclose NNM and growth, invested assets (rounded to the nearest billion) and CA numbers, alongside ultra and global family office-specific figures. Everything else is reported at the business segment level.
Beyond these two (and maybe a couple of others), the level of transparency drops markedly.
Take Julius Baer, a bank that considers Asia its “second home market”. Its latest earnings release barely scratches the surface when it comes to Asia. What we get is an anecdotal nod towards the region (e.g. “particularly strong net inflows from Asia”) and a little added colour from the earnings call. Key figures for Bank of Singapore – part of OCBC Group and a major regional player – are generally clubbed together with global consumer/wealth management. Only AUM are disclosed in the published results. And over at BNP Paribas, which reports today, Asia-specific details for its wealth management business are even thinner.
Now, I’m singling out these banks only because they underline my point, which is this: for an industry that places so much optical importance on Asian wealth management, few banks seem prepared to back up their talk by showing their hand. I truly hope this changes.
Your Top Eight follows.
INDUSTRY | EXCLUSIVE 24 July 2017
India’s domestic wealth managers sceptical about foreign rivals’ ‘global Indian’ strategies
A global private banking strategy aimed at capturing both outbound and inbound wealth in India has met criticism from a number of domestic wealth managers, who say that while conceptually appealing, the approach fails to factor in the nuances of onshore regulations and investor behaviour.
INDUSTRY | EXCLUSIVE 26 July 2017
BNP Paribas WM’s NRI business in Asia grows revenues at CAGR of 25%
While a number of Asia’s private banks are re-evaluating the role of the dedicated NRI desk, Masroor Batin, BNP Paribas Wealth Management’s international and NRI clients head has told Asian Private Banker that revenues from the bank’s NRI business in Asia have grown at a CAGR of 25% since 2014.
DPM | EXCLUSIVE 24 July 2017
“Only larger banks” can provide comprehensive DPM solutions for Asia’s ultra-rich
Credit Suisse Private Banking’s Tan Wei Mei believes that when it comes to discretionary portfolio management (DPM) solutions for the ultra-wealthy, size matters and big banks are best positioned to corner this part of the market.
INDUSTRY | EXCLUSIVE 25 July 2017
Noah’s S&P rating a step forward for Chinese WM industry, says Lam
S&P Global Ratings’ decision to grant investment-grade status to Noah Holdings is not only a boon for the firm but “a milestone for China’s wealth management industry”, which has tended to implicitly promote guaranteed returns over prudent risk management practices, according to Kenny Lam, group president of Noah Holdings.
ASSET MANAGERS | FUNDS | EXCLUSIVE 27 July 2017
Asia’s private banking clients to continue buying HY bonds “despite narrowing spreads”
Despite narrowing spreads, demand for high yield (HY) bonds amongst Asia’s private banking clients will likely remain strong for the foreseeable future, as this asset class is becoming more accepted in the region, according to Barings.
TECHNOLOGY | EXCLUSIVE 21 July 2017
UBS WM’s Samani on UBS Advice, app updates and fintech partnerships
UBS Wealth Management’s chief digital officer for APAC, Ketan Samani, tells Asian Private Banker about the Swiss major’s progress with its five digital initiatives rolled out over the past three years, including its digital advisory platform, UBS Advice, the bank’s fintech partnerships and its portfolio tracking app.
REGULATIONS | EXCLUSIVE 27 July 2017
HKMA to align its rules with SFC’s manager-in-charge programme, lawyers say
In a move that would level the playing field for banks in the city, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is said to be updating the Banking Ordinance so that its requirements are aligned with the Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) manager-in-charge (MIC) programme.
PEOPLE | EXCLUSIVE 21 July 2017
UBS WM names new Hong Kong-based head of innovation tech
UBS Wealth Management has filled the newly carved out role of Hong Kong-based head of innovation technologies, Asian Private Banker has learnt.