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Asia Private Banking Awards

Best international private bank in the Philippines 2020

HSBC

It can be easy for international banks to forget about southeast Asia, especially those firms that marry corporate, investment and private banking.

China’s hordes of ultra-high net-worth individuals offer a potential fee bonanza to those banks that can cover the gamut of services from capital market funding, transaction banking and wealth transfer advice.

Given how firmly the bank is rooted in offering services to Chinese clients, one might not expect HSBC to focus on the Philippines and its neighbours. Instead, it has doubled down on the region. Last June, HSBC named three relationship managers to help grow its business in the Philippines, including a former JPMorgan banker.

The bank is making the most of opportunities in a country that has grown exponentially over the last decade, creating not just new sources of potential clients but also a more sophisticated, competitive environment.

The plan echoes the bank’s strategy elsewhere.

HSBC is leveraging the strength of its corporate and investment bank, using referrals from its global business divisions to drive net new asset growth in the country. It now offers a wide range of services to its clients in the country, including access to discretionary portfolios, alternative investments and long-only funds.

Local private bankers dismiss most foreign firms as ‘suitcase bankers’, largely covering the market from outside. There is still some truth to that. But HSBC’s recent hires show its commitment to the market, and its depth of products proves it is ready to compete with the best domestic players.

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