Awards for Distinction 2020 – Best Private Bank – Singapore

Best Private Bank Singapore


Union Bancaire Privee

Best Private Bank – Singapore

Ranjit Khanna

head of South Asia and Singapore Branch Chief Executive, Union Bancaire Privée

“We are very pleased to be awarded the Best Private Bank – Singapore for two consecutive years. As a pure player, we are uniquely positioned in wealth management. We have successfully built a niche presence in Singapore and retained a top spot in the market, as we continue to work hard to enhance our offerings. This distinction reinforces the success of our long-term approach to growing the business and celebrates the quality and expertise of our local teams.”

Winners rationale

In a volatile 2020, UBP managed to expand its UHNW client base on the back of a “high-touch” service and achieve NNA growth significantly stronger than many of its larger peers in Singapore. The “high-touch” service combined the bank’s existing strength of providing institutional-like customised investment services with a solid technology platform that was able to support the night desk transactions when volumes reached levels three times higher than in the same period in 2019.

Due to the operational disruptions caused by the pandemic, digitalisation became a key differentiator in 2020. The bank adopted remote working in late January, with its technology platform supporting up to 70% of staff in Asia working from home.

While other private banks sought to generate more revenue by servicing a broader client spectrum through a “high volume, low touch” model, UBP opted for the road less travelled, shifting its focus towards the UHNW market.

To enhance the bank’s product suite for UHNW clients, UBP pivoted towards developing its private markets solutions and expanded the breadth and depth of its investment offerings. In response to popular client demand, the bank provided yield-enhancing direct investments in 2020, of which one real estate investment opportunity in the US raised around US$20 million in South Asia.

UBP went a step further, and enhanced its private market group proposition by introducing a number of key propositions in 2020: a pre-IPO growth equity opportunity was launched alongside tech thematic investment opportunities, both highly sought after by UHNW clients. In the nimbleness with which it can respond to clients’ demand and bring a product to market lies the beauty of a boutique private bank. UBP’s focus on tailoring investment solutions to the ultra-rich in 2020 resulted in marked growth of UHNW client assets, which in 2020 constituted the bulk of UBP’s total assets in Singapore.

A competitive pure-play in Singapore’s private banking industry, UBP noted that wealth transition in Singapore occurred faster than in other markets in the region. It set out to acquire talent with specific skill sets catering to the varied needs of UHNW clients. UBP’s team of private bankers grew 10% YoY in 2020, and it maintained a low RM per investment counsellor ratio, to ensure that sufficient support was provided in offering investment advice.

The extensive experience of its banking team delivered unique and competitive service propositions, which solidified UBP’s reputation in Singapore as a trusted private banking franchise to UHNW clients across the region.

UBP is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Singapore for 2020.

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