Best private bank for international network 2019
Bank of China Private Banking
There is no question that the Bank of China (BOC), led by chairman Chen Siqing, and its private banking unit have the largest global network among Chinese financial institutions.
BOC first opened private banking service centres at its Shanghai and Beijing branches in 2007, and has continued to enjoy solid growth by opening centres elsewhere. It now operates 40 private banking centres across the country, and has a further five offshore (two in Hong Kong and one each in Macau, Singapore and London).
According to the bank’s 2017 annual report, its private banking customers’ financial assets exceeded Rmb1.2 trillion ($180 billion) at the end of that year.
With 600 offshore branches and offices in 56 nations and territories, BOC has a longer history of operating overseas – and of providing wealth management services – than any other domestic bank. It has been around for a century and has had plenty of opportunities to form partnerships with international banks, strengthening its ability to serve as a financial bridge between China and the rest of the world for its high net-worth clients.
For this reason, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange – the agency that manages China’s $3.1 trillion foreign exchange reserves – continues to conduct experiments on cross-border FX transfers via BOC and sees the bank as the leader in cross-border financial services.
BOC’s product development team works with customers to tailor products to their needs and risk profiles. The investments include fixed income, structured securities and a wide array of different funds, as well as alternative investments such as private equity, gold, wine and art. BOC also cooperates with onshore and offshore partners, including well-known trust and insurance companies, to provide cross-border services and overseas investment needs.
Through its private banking service centres in London, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong and other branches of the group, the bank is able to provide clients with a wide range of offshore investment opportunities, including large-scale certificates of deposit, life insurance, real estate investment trusts, overseas bonds, structured finance and high-yielding investment products from major markets around the world.
And through Hong Kong-based Bank of China International, the bank is able to offer trust services and help clients to set up a wide range of trusts to ensure the secure and safe offshore transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.