Best international private bank in India 2023
Barclays Private Bank
Barclays has become a trusted adviser for high and the ultra-high net-worth individuals and families in India. The bank’s long-standing reputation for providing exceptional services, personalized attention and tailored investment solutions, as well as its pedigree globally and in India, make it Asiamoney’s choice for best international private bank in India in 2023.
What makes Barclays unique is its reach. In India, where the private clients business is led by Sandeep Das, the bank caters to the whole gamut of wealthy clients: ultra-high net-worth individuals, family offices, industrialists and families with established businesses and founders of private businesses or unicorns, provided they have at least the equivalent of £5 million to invest. To give them a global proposition, the firm collaborates with its UK, European, Middle Eastern and North African private banking desks, as well as its local corporate and investment bank.
Thanks to its licences for banking and credit solutions, investment services, wealth advisory and as a non-banking financial institution, Barclays can offer a comprehensive range of services in India, including wealth and succession planning advisory, portfolio management, strategic solutions advisory, trust and fiduciary services, and estate planning.
That breadth and depth of offerings have had a clear impact on Barclays’ financials. In 2022, income at Barclays Private Clients India jumped 22% and balances rose 25%, year on year. Its cost-to-income ratio fell by 13.3% year on year. Client assets overall grew by 22%, while the mega and family office segment saw asset growth of 79%.
One major development was a referral agreement with Credit Suisse signed in 2022, which focuses on private banking clients in Sub-Saharan Africa. As it is exiting most of the region, Credit Suisse is referring its private banking clients in the Sub-Saharan markets to Barclays. This, say senior bankers at Barclays, has helped it to double down on the Dubai-Africa-India corridor, allowing the UK bank to work with non-resident Indians in these markets.
Barclays also shines in discretionary portfolio management, thanks to its strategy of identifying important investment themes with a bottom-up research approach.
This, combined with the firm’s ability to provide offshore, onshore and alternative investment options to the wealthy, is paying off. Its read of the market, including being selective about pre-IPO investments, has won approval from clients and rivals.
The bank is aiming for more consistent growth as part of a five-year strategy for the India market. This means as India's economy grows and more individuals become wealthy, Barclays will remain a trusted adviser and partner to these clients for years to come.