In Focus
WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

RBS to double wealth assets in Asia by 2015

RBS will double its private banking assets in Asia within five years from the $15 million it currently manages.


This was reported by the lender’s co-head of global wealth management investing, according to Bloomberg.

“We wish to increase our presence in all international markets,” Nick Cringle, the division’s co-head said in an interview in Mumbai yesterday. “From a profitability perspective, 60 percent of our profits come from the U.K. and 40 percent from international businesses. Part of our five-year strategic plan is to reverse that.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland, U.K.’s biggest government-controlled bank, is competing with rivals including Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. in hiring financial advisers to tap the region’s increasing wealth amid sluggish economic growth in the U.S. and a debt crisis in Europe.

Asia’s 3.3 million high-net-worth individuals had $10.8 trillion in assets, compared with the $10.2 trillion accumulated by their 3.1 million counterparts in Europe, according to the Capgemini and Bank of America report published in June.

“The wealth business in Asia is slightly profitable,” Hong Kong-based Cringle said. “Will it be as profitable as we would have liked it to be in 2011? Not quite. But I think that every wealth manager has had the same experience. Clearly clients have been much less engaged in the context of investments.”
Adding Headcount

RBS employs about 550 people in its offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and India, Cringle said. RBS has grown its workforce in 2011 by adding more relationship managers. It expects to expand further next year, he said.

Wealth in Asia, excluding Japan, is expected to rise at about double the global rate of about 6 percent through the next five years, the Boston Consulting Group said in a May 31 report.

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