DBS expands HK private banking headcount by 25% on better fund flow

Singapore’s biggest lender is moving in as some of the older international banks in Hong Kong scale back. — Bloomberg

HONG KONG: DBS Group Holdings Ltd is hiring more private bankers here where the bank is increasingly attracting money from both mainland China and Taiwan, according to North Asia business head Sebastian Paredes.

The number of clients acquired from mainland China totalled close to 1,200 this year, Paredes told David Ingles in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

The bank has seen “substantial” flows from Taiwan in the past 12 months, the executive said without elaborating.

“We continue to hire,” said Paredes, who is also chairman of the lender’s China unit.

“This year for example, we are expanding more than 25% our headcount in private banking business alone,” he pointed out.

Singapore’s biggest lender is moving in as some of the older international banks in Hong Kong scale back.

DBS replaced Credit Suisse as the third largest private bank in Asia, excluding onshore China, last year with some US$201bil assets under management, according to Asian Private Banker.

Total headcount of relationship managers grew 12% to 730 in 2023 from a year earlier and topped HSBC, according to the publication.

Paredes praised the Hong Kong government’s efforts in promoting the city’s status as a tourism and entertainment hub for Chinese mainlanders.

Still, he warned the city is facing competition in tourism from countries such as Japan, where the cheap yen has diverted tourist attention. — Bloomberg

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