DBS Group Expands Private Banking Team in Hong Kong

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. is bolstering its private banking team in Hong Kong as it continues to attract wealth from mainland China and Taiwan, according to Sebastian Paredes, Head of North Asia business at the bank.

In an interview with David Ingles on Bloomberg TV, Paredes disclosed that the bank has acquired nearly 1,200 clients from mainland China this year. Additionally, DBS has witnessed significant inflows from Taiwan over the past 12 months, although specific figures were not provided.

Paredes noted the ongoing expansion of DBS’s private banking division, indicating a growth of over 25% in headcount this year alone. He also serves as the chairman of the bank’s China unit.

DBS’s strategic move comes amidst the retreat of some established international banks in Hong Kong. Last year, DBS surpassed Credit Suisse to become the third-largest private bank in Asia (excluding onshore China), managing approximately $201 billion in assets, according to Asian Private Banker. The bank’s total headcount of relationship managers grew by 12% to 730 in 2023, surpassing HSBC, as reported by the publication.

Paredes commended the Hong Kong government’s initiatives to bolster the city’s reputation as a tourism and entertainment destination for mainland Chinese visitors. However, he cautioned that Hong Kong faces competition in the tourism sector from countries like Japan, where the weak yen has diverted tourist interest.

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