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Asia Private Banking Awards

Best for ESG in Hong Kong 2020

HSBC

No financial institution can touch HSBC in Hong Kong, where it has had a presence in three centuries. In wealth management, it is the same powerhouse it has been for decades, providing best-in-class private banking services to the city’s high and ultra-high net-worth families, including everything from investment financing to pre-IPO funding and real estate lending.

Never content to sit still or take its home market for granted, HSBC rolled out new services for its wealthiest clients in 2019. It unveiled a refreshed UHNW client proposition and it launched a new Next Gen programme, focusing on, among other things, sustainability, entrepreneurship and family legacy.

That programme is a proactive effort to provide younger HNW and UHNW family members – in particular those set to inherit large fortunes in the years ahead – with real world experience.

Over the last year, HSBC hosted Investment Outlook events that provide next-generation clients with world-class financial education, including a trip to the jungles of Borneo to learn about sustainability practices – yet another example of the bank’s commitment to its environmental, social and governance principles.

Total revenues at its Hong Kong private banking division grew at a compound annual rate of 20% over the four years to the end of 2019, with client assets expanding at a rate of 14%.

Total net new money managed by HSBC’s private banking team in Hong Kong expanded six-fold over that period.

It has been period of great change for the London-headquartered lender. HSBC has made another concerted effort to pivot to Asia. More pertinently, a decision to combine its private bank with its wealth management and retail banking businesses will, the bank says, transform it into a powerhouse in this area.

The strategic shift is an important one: a key focus in the years ahead will be to target China’s richest families, many of which own a large amount of assets, including property and securities, located or listed in Hong Kong.

The bank’s combined private bank and wealth business has about $1.4 trillion in assets under management, and HSBC tips that number to grow sharply in the years ahead.

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