Shenzhen eyes starring role as China’s premier private-banking hub
The southern Chinese city has set out ambitious plans to become one of the world’s top wealth-management centres. With one of China’s largest onshore pools of private wealth, there is everything to play for.
Shenzhen is big, rich and young – it was little more than a fishing village until the 1980s – but can it become China’s premier private-banking and wealth-management hub?
That certainly seems to be the aim of the city’s political and financial leaders. On January 8, the laboriously titled Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Local Financial Regulation and Supervision announced that it intended to build an international wealth-management centre overseeing more than Rmb30 trillion ($4.45 trillion) in assets by 2025.
That would include convincing at least 100 blue-chip wealth-management outfits, including global outfits, to set up shop in the tech-heavy city, as well as more than 300 ‘pilot’ qualified domestic and foreign investors – a nebulous phrase that encompasses everything from financial advisory boutiques to wealth-tech start-ups.
If there is a mainland city capable of meeting these outsized goals, it's probably Shenzhen
The scale of the city’s wealth-management sector today requires a bit of guesswork. Official data puts the total value of assets under management at all Shenzhen-based financial institutions – banks, securities and insurance firms, funds and wealth managers – at Rmb26.6 trillion at the end of 2022, comprising around one-fifth of the country’s total.