Awards for Distinction 2021 – Best Private Bank – Asia Pacific

Best Private Bank Asia Pacific


HSBC Global Private Banking

Best Private Bank – Asia Pacific

Tan Siew Meng

regional head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific

“We are honoured to be named the Best Private Bank – Asia Pacific and proud of what this accolade represents.

Our clients are at the centre of everything we do, which means we are laser-focused on ensuring that every client receives the best ideas, advice, solutions and services tailored to their unique circumstances — every day. And we are committed to bringing the best of HSBC to clients, whose needs are typically international in scope and span the personal and business spheres.

To deliver on our promise, we invest in our capabilities and people across the region, and we innovate. In 2021, we enhanced our client experience with major digital deliveries; we deepened our ESG integration and expanded our sustainable solutions offering as part of our Group-wide commitment. We extended our footprint in Southeast Asia and celebrated 75 years of partnering with families across generations via HSBC Trustee; and, above all else, we remained close to clients to help them navigate a complex environment.

This award only adds to our motivation to really make a difference for clients as their trusted wealth manager.”

Winners rationale

HSBC Global Private Banking (HSBC GPB) has been awarded Asian Private Banker’s flagship Best Private Bank – Asia-Pacific accolade for the first time after the lender comprehensively demonstrated an ability to capture wallet share, improve its product shelf and fully harness new market opportunities.

All of these achievements were evidenced in HSBC GPB’s spectacular business performance during the period of 2021 that was considered for the Awards for Distinction. According to figures shared with Asian Private Banker for the purposes of the awards, both revenue and client AUM derived from Asia-Pacific jumped at a rate that put HSBC GPB at the front of the pack versus its private banking peers. The numbers were all the more remarkable when taking into consideration that HSBC GPB’s net interest income during the year was hit harder by lower interest rates than that of many of its rivals due to the fact the bank traditionally has a high balance of deposits.

The impressive increases in the top line and the asset base were coupled with an impressive haul of net new money that marked a substantial recovery from industry-wide deleveraging and was peppered with several US$1 billion-plus landmark deals with UHNW clients.

Perhaps just as crucially as this muscular business performance, however, were the private bank’s efforts to improve the quality of its revenue streams. During the period under consideration, HSBC GPB boosted the portion of its revenue derived from recurring income sources by more than any of the other awards submissions from banks reviewed by Asian Private Banker — reflecting the success of the lender’s efforts to convert more clients to mandates with annuity-based fees.

In 2021, the collaboration between HSBC’s global private bank and its commercial banking (CMB) juggernaut thrived as the result of relentless tweaks and improvements to the linkages between the two. Net new money and revenue derived from PB/wholesale banking collaboration continued to grow during 2021, thanks to investments in data analytics and prospecting, and in pipeline tools. In one example shared during HSBC GPB’s pitch session, the bank was able to secure a bumper haul of net new money via a commercial banking client’s initial public offering after earlier gaining his trust by accommodating an urgent loan request.

Among the other aspects of its submission for Best Private Bank – Asia-Pacific that impressed the judging panel was HSBC GPB’s deepening penetration into the UHNW segment. The private bank has more than doubled the size of its teams serving UHNWIs and this has already appeared to bear fruit, with the number of clients from this segment rising by the high single digits and its estimated share of wallet growing at an even faster clip.

On the investments side, 2021 proved to be a year in which HSBC GPB doubled-down on its market-leading position in alternatives, but also made significant strides in its discretionary portfolio management (DPM) offerings. The bank made a concerted effort to drive inflows of dry powder into DPM strategies — an endeavour no doubt assisted by stomach-churning volatility in regional markets during the year.

But HSBC GPB also deserves plaudits for product innovation in terms of DPM: one popular strategy launched in 2021 was the Asia Next Generation Leaders, an actively-managed mandate that gives clients exposure to the region’s emerging corporate leaders. The bank has also lowered its ticket price for certain DPM strategies, such as the ASPIRE Fixed Income Discretionary Programme launched last year, which is an exclusive offering to HSBC GPB clients that comes in a fund structure with lower entry requirements.

In terms of alternative investments, 2021 was a turbocharged year for the bank, which recorded record inflows of US$1.9 billion in the region, as it broadened its world-class suite of hedge funds, private equity and credit strategies.

Outside of HSBC GPB’s traditional strongholds of Hong Kong and, increasingly, mainland China, the bank launched an onshore Thailand business, expanded its coverage of onshore Taiwan as well as boosting its product shelf there.

Finally, the judging panel commended HSBC GPB for the velocity of its improvements in client experience and steps in attracting and retaining front office human capital. The bank made both strong enhancements in its digital proposition — bringing HSBC GPB closer in line with the cutting-edge services provided by some of its international peers — while boosting its headcount with selective and opportunistic hires among relationship managers, investment councillors and product specialists. Diversity and inclusion have been paramount, with almost half of senior leadership in the region now female.

For these reasons, HSBC Global Private Banking is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Asia-Pacific.

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