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Relevant data analytics allow RMs to personalise and expand client coverage

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COVID-19 has opened many doors to the way private banks approach digitalisation, but not everybody appreciates the extent to which digital technology can change RM-client engagement.

At Asian Private Banker‘s Webinar: The Future of Client Engagement, Kevin Herbert, managing director, co-head, North Asia, HSBC Private Banking, Evy Theunis, executive Director – head customer segment and customer science, DBS Bank, and Ronan Leonard, head of market development wealth for APAC, Refinitiv, shared with Asian Private Banker that data analytics will facilitate the customisation of services and allow RMs to expand their client coverage.

“For us, data has been a key source to build a more relevant journey for customers,” said Theunis, “Instead of only providing data for our RMs, we are working on how to sharpen the relevancy of the data— by generating relevant insights.”

Theunis believed that through data, personalisation of services can be scaled for a much larger group of customers than currently possible. “Through the traditional channel, the RM is often limited in terms of the number of customers he/she can speak to. Data complement the RMs and help them reach more clients, beyond those they frequently engage with.”

“Certainly, RMs play a pivotal role in managing the client relationship,” Herbert asserted. “But more importantly, we believe in a team-based approach, where experts from different teams are ready to meet client needs.” Herbert argued that the ability of the bank to reach out proactively to clients on a practical basis and provide advice is as important as the ability for the client to seek advice.

“Both go hand in hand for me,” he said, while pointing to the key role data play in the process of the bank identifying client needs with accuracy. Herbert highlighted the advantage of the bank in data integration across its various business channels.

“With our universal banking model, a lot of the business flows come from within the bank,” he said, adding that client data can thus likely be obtained from various channels.

During COVID-19, this cross-channel usage of client data has generated new client onboarding opportunities for the bank, despite the challenges brought by the travel restrictions, Herbert noted.

Herbert and Theunis agreed that the potential of data analytics in personalising private banking services, if exploited to the fullest, could help with the banks’ attempt to customise its offerings for different client segments.

A report titled Refinitiv report on Transformation of Wealth Management – Five trends for 2020 and beyond discovered that “90% of interviewed wealth management firms have recently reviewed or revised (or are currently reviewing and revising) their segmentation models”.

The report argued that current models, largely based on the AUM sizes, typically do not take into account clients’ behavioural differences and do not provide the foundation for differentiated client engagement. Incorporating these factors, however, requires access to data and analytics that are “not commonly available”.

Addressing this concern, Leonard said the firm has observed rising global demand from banks for the “integration of data across different business segments”. Put simply, an ideal solution would allow RMs to obtain easy access to all the data of a single client, without going through the administrative burden of putting them together.

“On top of that, machine learning can help generate automated insights for better personalisation. (…) Furthermore, using the same platform, the banks can target a variety of client segments and generate distinct solutions.”

Leonard concluded that in this way, RM productivity can be significantly improved, and their coverage of client— possibly across various segments — can be expanded significantly.

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