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UBS continues its reign on top as the largest private bank in Asia Pacific

Private Banker International announced the 2015 PBI Top 20 Asia-Pacific Rankings at the Private Banker International Global Wealth Summit 2015. This year’s survey showed a continued rise in Asian wealth and reveals UBS as the largest private bank by AUM in the region, for the third year in a row.

Total AUM in Asia-Pacific increased by 12% to USD1,542.3bn in 2014, compared to USD1,373bn the year before. Despite being lower than the 18% growth in 2013, this still represents strong wealth generation and rise in the region.

The study, which ranked private banks by AUM for high net worth clients with investable assets of more than USD1m, saw UBS claim the top spot, for the third year in a row, as the largest private bank in the region. The Swiss bank saw an 11% increase in AUM to USD272bn in 2014.

The first five banks on the list remained unchanged from last year’s ranking, with Citi Private Bank taking 2nd place with USD272bn in AUM in 2014 (7% increase year-on-year), followed by Credit Suisse with USD145bn in AUM in 2014 (12% increase year-on-year).

Despite only a 4% rise in AUM in 2014, HSBC Private Bank, with USD112bn, maintained its 4th spot while Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management stayed in 5th position with USD105bn in AUM.

The big mover in 2014 was DBS Private Bank with its AUM growing by 35% year-on-year, which is the most notable change across the rankings. It also moved up the ranks to reach 8th position, beating Morgan Stanley. DBS’ acquisition of Societe Generale’s Asian private banking business last year added considerably to its AUM. Other factors that contributed to its success are a focus on digital banking, innovation, and the ability to retain customers as their individual wealth grows.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management maintained its position among the top 10 banks with USD59bn in AUM for 2014. A contributor to its growth in recent years has been close co-operation with its corporate & investment bank to service clients who want access to a global network.

J Safra Sarasin stood out as a dynamic non-Asian private bank in the region in 2014 and appears to have benefited from boosting its senior management in Asia. LGT also recorded encouraging growth on the back of investment in technology, while its strong focus on succession planning also resonated with clients in Asia.

Private Banker International’s Editor, Meghna Mukerjee, said: “UBS, Citi Private Bank and Credit Suisse, our top three banks, have continued to hone their strategies and maintained their leadership positions in the UHNW space. This definitely underlines the importance of this segment in Asia-Pacific.

Though there wasn’t any movement in the top 5 banks from the rankings last year, the big mover for 2014 has undoubtedly been DBS Private Bank, placing it in a strong position. The integration of Societe Generale’s Asian private banking business last year boosted its assets significantly. It is certainly one bank to watch.

Balancing regulatory demands and rising costs with client centricity and quality of service has been a key focus for top tier banks in 2014, with more importance being placed on reviewing current business models and strategies, as well as client segments.

Next Finance , October 2015

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