TDB Digest

TDB Digest – What’s Cooking in the FinTech and Banking Industry (Issue 10)

RETAIL BANKING UPDATE

Australian Banking Giants – CBA and NAB – introduce no interest payment Credit Cards

National Australia Bank(NAB) launched Australia’s first no interest credit card, NAB StraightUp Card, last week. The credit card includes features such as credit access of up to AUD 3,000, used anywhere Visa is accepted, higher minimum repayments and completely waives off charges such as interest payments, annual fees, foreign currency fees, etc. The card can be used across contactless pay options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, NAB Pay, etc, however cash advance and gambling is prohibited. NAB StraightUp Card aims to help customers take control of their spending habits while effectively competing with the growing “Buy Now Pay Later” services. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), also announced that it is launching a no interest credit card – CommBank Neo. This credit card, apart from having a credit access of AUD 3,000 and low minimum monthly repayments, will waive of any interest payments, foreign currency charges, cash advance and gambling. A value-add feature of CommBank Neo is customers have access to CommBank Rewards which has tie-ups with 80+ retailers. CommBank Neo will be available to individual in late 2020 and will also attract small business customers through its CommBank Neo Business Card in early 2021.

DIGITAL BANKING NEWS

Credit Suisse set to launch digital offering “CSX” next month

Credit Suisse, a Zurich based bank, recently announced that it will roll out its digital offering “CSX” next month. The bank’s recent announcement comes when challenger banks are poaching Swiss customers. CSX will compete with these banks to provide a plethora of online services such as digital onboarding, debit card – both virtual and physical, waive off foreign exchange fee, mortgage loans, among other self-services functions. Credit Suisse plans to provide a digital experience which will further tie in with revamped services at the physical branches.

PARTNERSHIPS IN WEALTH TECH

Templeton Asset Management and Razer Fintech sign MoU

Templeton Asset Management,a Franklin Templeton subsidiary based in Singapore, and Razer Fintech, the financial arm of Razer Inc, announced that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Through this MoU the two companies will work together to develop “a next generation digital wealth management platform” primarily targeting youth and millennial customers. Key market for their product and services will be Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam with plans to expand as Razer Fintech’s operation expand.

FUND RAISING

Thunes raises USD 60 million in Series B funding round

Thunes, a Singaporean headquartered global B2B cross-border payments Fintech, recently announced a Series B funding round of US$60 million. Leading the funding round was Africa-focused Helios Investment Partners, followed by other investors such as Checkout.com and existing investors GGV Capital and Future Shape. With this round of investment, Thunes aims to grow its global network and accelerate expansion in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Thunes said, “We expect transaction volumes on our platform to double annually, through the expansion of our network. For the five billion people and businesses in the growing emerging market economies, we enable cross-border payments seamlessly, faster, and at more competitive rates.”

Groww raised $30 million in Series C funding round

Groww, an India investment platform, recently raised $30 million in its Series C financing round led by YC Continuity. Existing investors Sequoia India, Ribbit Capital and Propel Ventures also participated in this round. According to the company’s press release, the funds raised in this round will help “strengthen Groww’s technology infrastructure, expand their product suite and hire top talent across engineering, product and growth divisions. A part of the funding will be utilised to further fuel their pan-India financial education initiative.”

How the Pandemic is Forcing Wealth Managers to Evolve

How the Pandemic is Forcing Wealth Managers to Evolve

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the entire globe in an unprecedented manner. It has presented the world with a humanitarian and health challenge that can only be combated by deliberate and hard-fixed actions. With an increase in mortality rates across the globe, many nations remain perplexed about issues brought about by the pandemic. And as a matter of urgency, people affected by the virus need adequate support. There is also a need to create a vaccine to combat death rate and stabilize activities across the globe.

Besides the direct effect of the virus on human lives and livelihoods, it is also essential to consider its impact on the industrial and economic facets of various nations around the world. And that wealth-management systems have also been hit by the pandemic sheds more light on why firms need to come up with practical and strategic responses to the situation.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, wealth-management businesses are currently faced with two different circumstances. First, they can procure updated digital plans that may include educating their customers on how to maximize their digital extensions. Secondly, the pandemic undoubtedly presents wealth-management firms with a temporary problem of customer inactivity.

Considering that the degrees to which clients would utilize digital service will inevitably differ, wealth management firms should seriously consider providing digital strategies and action points for their clients.

If investors are going to be reassured of their investment portfolios with wealth-management firms, a strengthening of engagement metrics would be necessary.

The Evolving Role of Wealth Managers

Wealthy investors would want to have updated details of their investments, alongside other conditions such as maintaining market neutrality in the face of high uncertainty. To keep clients feel reassured of the status of their investments, firms must take strategic actions to arrest any worries.

If investors are going to be reassured of their investment portfolios with wealth-management firms, a strengthening of engagement metrics would be necessary. Firms should consider improving their online presence and be more in touch with the pulse of the market. They can also equip portfolio managers with sophisticated communication tools like investment notes, video content and podcasts to deliver investment policies and philosophy to clients. When contacts are made continuously from the company’s leadership (relationship and portfolio managers) to the client, clients get to be reassured of the financial status of the firm.

Consistent communication among firm’s leadership is also highly important. Given the importance of relevant updates to clients’ portfolios, managers must keep updated tabs on the market fluctuations. Meetings for portfolio update can be integrated into the workflow of the wealth managers – and must be done consistently. These are necessary for understanding the impact of the change on clients’ investments. 

Relationship managers are basically at the core of the relationship between wealth-management firms and their clients. They are to possess detailed knowledge of clients’ portfolios and be able to rebalance them for improved security and sustainability. Relationship Managers may also have to be guided by tax professionals if clients are going to have all their tax-related concerns addressed.

Wealth management techniques and tools can be harnessed to keep relationship managers updated about clients’ portfolios. And relationship managers could increase their reliability by test-running their methods of analysis – mainly their automated rebalancing processes – before implementation.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

COVID-19 How Asset Allocation Impacts Investment Deals of the Ultra-Rich

COVID-19: How Asset Allocation Impacts Investment Deals of the Ultra-Rich

The current coronavirus pandemic is taking a massive toll on both the public health as well as the economy of the world. Its impact has been so severe and totally unprecedented that individuals and nations alike are being affected by it – even the world’s ultra-rich.

Presently, only a handful of economic sectors are experiencing slight increases in demand. Others, including businesses owned and managed by wealthy individuals, are merely trying to stay afloat in an ocean of negative outcomes brought about by the pandemic. Besides concerns about the health and wellbeing of loved ones, most wealthy people are currently grappling with the devastating effect of the pandemic on their wealth.

And while developed countries have sufficient resources to keep their citizens and economies going in this period, developing countries may not be able to do the same.

Given that stock markets around the globe are barely trying to survive the negative impact of the pandemic, most wealthy individuals will also experience a significant reduction in their wealth. As a matter of fact, even the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) segment had been affected by this pandemic.

Presently, only a handful of economic sectors are experiencing slight increases in demand. Others, including businesses owned and managed by wealthy individuals, are merely trying to stay afloat in an ocean of negative outcomes brought about by the pandemic.

However, the level of impact the pandemic will have on the wealth of UHNW individuals depends mainly on their asset allocations. For individuals with liquidated assets, they are more likely to experience depreciation in value – against the U.S dollar – for their assets. The only lucky ones would likely be those with liquid asset reserves in the U.S dollar.

Furthermore, the response of governments and health sectors to the pandemic will also determine how wealth is affected by this period. And when the worst is over, the recovery rate of economies will equally determine – to a large extent – the overall impact of the pandemic on wealth.

Ever since the COVID-19 induced lockdown and social distancing practices, digitalization has experienced an exponential increase in engagement. Virtually every organization and business have resorted to online platforms for their day-to-day interactions. People have retreated to online messaging and video calls to keep in touch, and educational institutions have upped their games in their respective online engagement platforms.

And with an uncountable number of people now working remotely, organizations have beefed up their connectivity and online security measures. Bloomberg further notes that it is becoming somewhat evident that remote working would remain as an aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following this spike in the use and patronage of technology, investors are currently observing an increase in the interest of UHNW individuals in technology. Private tech companies are gradually also becoming the target of long-term investment deals by UHNW individuals.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

TDB Digest

TDB Digest – What’s Cooking in the FinTech and Banking Industry (Issue 8)

Digital Innovation in Banking

Hang Seng Invest Express app has now expanded its offerings

Hang Seng bank, a principal member of the HSBC Group, has made several enhancements to its on-the-go investments services mobile app “ Hang Seng Invest Express”. Customers can now use to app to subscribe for IPOs, track performance of the newly listed shares, and also finance their IPO needs. Customers of the bank can easily avail IPO financing based on their requirements. The bank now allows new retail/personal banking customers who have opened an account via “Mobile Account Opening service” to easily apply for an investment account by simultaneous in just a few more steps. With these improvements and enhancements, customers of  Hang Seng Bank can experience customer-centricity solutions and seamless on-the-go financial services.

Digital Banking News

Neo, a self-driven finance app, launched in India

Singapore’s fintech firm Atlantis, recently launched an app-based digital banking solution – Neo in India. Neo is primarily targeted at the growing millennials and Gen-Z population in the country. Neo’s app offers a SMART account lets customer transact, pay bills and save. Algorithms which power the app allow customers to keep track of expenses, automate finances and provide personal finance management insights. Neo also offers its customers a bank card. Currently the bank is accepting customers on an invite-only basis.

Funding in Fintechs

Mercuryo.io announced seed funding round

Mercuryo.io, an Estonian crypto wallet and cross-border crypto-payment firm, recently announced that it raised €2.5m seed funding led by Target Global. The funding will be used to grow and develop blockchain technology that they are currently using. The firm currently enables businesses to open virtual accounts, make business payments and remittances, etc through their payments network enabling them to adapt the blockchain technology.

Copper announced a seed round of $4.3 million

Copper, a Seattle based digital bank for teens, recently announced a seed round of $4.3 million led by PSL Ventures. Other investors were Mana Ventures and Western Technology Investment along with Jack Brody, Director of product at Snap. The primary target for the digital bank are teens and the company uses cash as incentive to make them conscious of money matter by inducing them to fulfil savings goals, paying parents back on time, completing quizzes.

Cross-border Payments

MoneyGram on track to create a large footprint in Africa

MoneyGram International, a leading cross-border P2P payments and money transfer company, recently become one of the largest  payment providers in Africa. MoneyGram achieved this feat by partnering with 4 wallets and FinTechs giving it access to 28 markets in Africa. The said partnerships are with Airtel  – a telecom and money services provider which has presence in 14 markets and Thunes, InTouch and MFS Africa – payment providing companies. Grant Lines, MoneyGram Chief Revenue Officer said, “We continue to execute our plan to overhaul major receive markets, and I look forward to building upon our strong momentum in Africa through these new partnerships.”

Fintech Industry Update

While the general consensus is that FinTechs have continued to receive funding amidst the pandemic, the overall funding has declined by from150.4 billion across 3,286 deals in 2019 to just $25.6 billion across 1221 deals in H1 2020, according to KPMG’s Pulse of FinTech H1 2020. Here is a break-up of the deals and their value:

 

Do tech-based investments present good opportunity for the UHNW segment today

Do tech-based investments present good opportunity for the UHNW segment today?

For several years now, and right before the onset of the pandemic, the tech market has continuously received particular attention from prominent investors.  It was pretty standard for individuals to make their investments directly to companies, or via their branch offices. In fact, a report compiled by Campden Research from 360 family offices reveals that technology is one of the key sectors they prefer to invest in.

Clearly, the pandemic is gradually creating a shift in the way, and manner, people respond to technology. Things that would ordinarily have been done offline are now being fulfilled via technology. And a more significant number of people are harnessing technology for specific purposes.

Tech companies in the private market are now being considered a huge investment opportunity by the UHNW segment. And education happens to be on top of the list of lucrative tech-based investments. As a matter of fact, the pandemic has led virtually every learning institution to shift their activities from physical, to virtual classrooms. And UHNW individuals will not let the opportunity pass. Snapask, a prominent tutoring software that kick-started in Hong Kong, was able to raise a sum of $35 million “to expand in Southeast Asia.” According to a TechCrunch report, “the company now has a total of 3 million students, with 1.3 million who registered over the past twelve months. Over the past year, 100,000 tutors have applied, taking Snapask’s current total to 350,000 applicants.”

The pandemic is gradually creating a shift in the way, and manner, people respond to technology. Things that would ordinarily have been done offline are now being fulfilled via technology.

Online shopping and food delivery platforms are also experiencing the bright side of the pandemic. They are benefiting hugely from meeting the needs of people who are working remotely. Recently, a Korean grocery startup Kurly has raised $150 million in their recent financing round while an Indian shopping platform BigBasket was able to raise $60 million as it continues to scale its business.

Other sectors of technology currently considered by investors encompass the standard tech features that typically accompanies the general use of technology. Cybersecurity, IT services, and enterprise solutions fall into these sectors. Investors are actively considering these respective companies as they are equipped to withstand any degree of economic decline, according to an industry report. Their functions make up essentials in businesses and organizational workflows.

It is further noted in the report that the tech market is currently outgrowing other industries that have always been stable over the years. Companies who are likely to excel in the current global economy are those who proffer technological solutions to business growth and human resource expansion.

In deciding on the company to make investments in, financial institutions are guided by a set of processes to evaluate organizations. First, they review the company’s most recent audited financial records. Then they go on to check the validity of agreements and contracts by interviewing clients and stakeholders.

These evaluations are crucial because every investor wants to be sure that every step has been satisfactorily checked off before committing their assets to companies. So that irrespective of market conditions, investors do not leave out any rule of investment. Instead, they are to follow every due diligence of investment structure to attain a well-distinguished asset portfolio.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

 

Wealth Management How to Improve Business Resilience in Times of Crisis

Wealth Management: How to Improve Business Resilience in Times of Crisis

In this period of uncertainty, it should become a norm for wealth managers to check the feasibility of their developmental strategies. Further actions should also be put in place to ensure that clients have their needs met adequately. 

Coming up with alternative courses of action must be part of the firm’s strategy. Just in case things do not bode well with the established procedures of a wealth management firm, there is a need to review the firm’s yearly goals. They are to plan for a decrease in client participation in addition to financial strategies to sustain anticipated drag in customer engagement. 

In critical times such as the present crisis, wealth management firms must also take essential measures to ensure the continuity of business operations. A group of crisis managers can be set up to represent every important sector of the business. To fully assess the impact of the pandemic on business operations, customers and staff should be analysed by a crisis group. Strategies to keep the firm in business in the face of a global crisis should be well in place.

Finally, as remote working becomes the only viable option for businesses to operate in this period, clients’ data confidentiality becomes a highly significant issue. Staff should be trained on the best ways to work securely from home to avoid compromising clients’ details online. For instance, access to client data should only be provided as necessary and proper access control system must be established. In addition, virtual interactions with client data should be confined to centralized servers only.

As remote working becomes the only viable option for businesses to operate in this period, clients’ data confidentiality becomes a highly significant issue. Staff should be trained on the best ways to work securely from home to avoid compromising clients’ details online.

Enhance Digital Adoption Or Else…

Given the global practice of social distancing and isolation, wealth managers may not be able to schedule physical meetings with clients and potential customers. They may also find it challenging to find new investors. As such, it becomes crucial that they revisit their online and digital policies.

Digital channels of interaction with investors should be reinforced and integrated into the firm’s key strategies. This is to enable open communication between clients and the firm. Managers who are yet to embrace digital channels to reach out to clients – and potential clients – may get to encounter significant challenges. 

It’s inevitable that more organisations will speed up their digital transformation. In this period, wealth management firms cannot afford to be left behind. And as activities related to digitisation start to ramp up, factors related to fraud, cyber security, privacy and data integrity must be top priority.

Besides having online access to minute details of their portfolio, clients should also be able to communicate seamlessly with their relationship managers. They should further be given access to digital tools that allow to issue directives concerning their investments. Video call tools, email, and instant messaging platforms – all in an integrated app or tool – are essential to help clients keep in regular touch with their relationship managers no matter what timezone they might be in.

The impact of the current crisis to wealth and investments cannot be avoided, but with the right strategies, a crisis can turn into huge opportunity.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

 

TDB Digest

TDB Digest – What’s Cooking in the FinTech and Banking Industry (Issue 7)

Digital Initiatives in Banking

  • Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank introduced HLB Pocket Connect – a digital banking initiative which targets young savers. HLB Pocket Connect serves Junior Account Customers and helps inculcate money management habits. Through features such as Earn, Spend and Save, young natives can track, spend and save their pocket money and other earnings. Another feature HLB Pocket Connect offers is its seamless customization and integration with the parents’ HLB Connect online banking – allowing easy transfer and tracking of the child’s account and facilities such as block or freeze of the Junior Debit Card instantly to ensure safety and security of funds against fraudulent activities.

Fintech Funding Continues

  • Neat, a multi-currency payments fintech based in Hong Kong last week announced that it extended its US$ 11 M Series A round which closed in April 2020 by another US$ 4 M. Both new and existing investors participated in this extension round. Neat through its “multi-currency Neat Account” enables international SMEs and entrepreneurs make cross-border payments quickly and at lower costs.
  • Billon, a blockchain and DLT fintech which enables P2P transaction across multiple currencies, received £2 million investment from the UK’s Future Fund Scheme. The Future Fund Scheme- set-up to help promising start-ups and innovative companies tide the pandemic, is an initiative where the UK Government matches investment commitments by angel investors and VCs. With this additional support Billon plans to “help clients pursue digital transformation and new business models” through the use of blockchain and DLT.
  • Moov Financial, a Banking-as-a-Service, announced $5.5 million seed round. Bain Capital Ventures led the seed round, with 6 other institutional investors and 27 individual investors. According to the press release, Moov Financial said that “this round allows us to grow the Moov community and accelerate our product roadmap.”

Sustainable Initiative

  • HSBC India, committed to enabling a sustainable ecosystem, recently announced the launch of its “Green Deposit Programme”. This initiative is available to the bank’s corporate clients and deposits accepted under this initiative will be used to finance green initiatives such as renewable energy, clean transportation, pollution prevention & control, green building and others. This deposits will be accepted in INR as fixed term deposits with pre-agreed returns and the bank will ensure transparency by providing “customers with a quarterly report containing portfolio-level information regarding the use of the deposited funds.”
  • In 2018, BBVA launched “Pledge 2025” whereby the bank “committed to securing €100 billion in sustainable financing between 2018 and 2025”. BBVA last week reported that it had already secured 40% of its target as of June 2020. As per the bank, this finance was secured through transactions in green finance, social entrepreneurship, agri-business, sustainable infrastructure and other sustainable banking initiatives.
The New Normal in Payments is Digital-thumb

The New Normal in Payments is Digital

The COVID-19 has prompted several countries to implement various modes of lockdown measures to contain its spread. Safe distancing has become the new norm and work from home has become the default option for many companies and organisations looking to strike a delicate balance between safety and productivity. As a result, it accelerated the adoption of digital payments across many industries.

The fact that using cash or physical bank notes could potentially help the spread of COVID-19 is just one of the factors. While there is no definitive conclusion on this matter yet, many government leaders are taking a cautious approach and are limiting the circulation of cash or bank notes in their system. For example, South Korea, China and the US Federal Reserve have implemented a process to disinfect their banknotes. In fact, “all Chinese banks must now literally launder their cash, disinfecting it with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, then storing it for seven to 14 days before releasing it to customers,” says CNN in its report.

Could these actions be considered extreme precautionary measures? Perhaps. But one thing is clear: such interventions on the supply and circulation of bank notes will directly impact cash payments, further opening the floodgates for further adoption of digital payments.

Safe distancing has become the new norm and work from home has become the default option for many companies and organisations. As a result, it accelerated the adoption of digital payments across many industries.

Digitally ready banks are poised to emerge stronger

As the situation stabilises, and some sense of normalcy start to kick in, banks that are digitally ready are poised to benefit greatly. Investments that help bolster digital payments infrastructure, open banking, artificial intelligence, and data analytics will prove to be wise decisions. In fact, some of the initiatives that have started even before the current pandemic hits now provide considerable value to the customers and entities they aim to serve. Some of them are:

UnionBank’s Financial Supply Chain on Blockchain

In an age where exchanges of goods and services has never been more closely connected, Financial Supply Chain has never been so crucial. Financial Supply Chain on Blockchain enables transparency while protecting sensitive data and information through distributed ledgers and smart contracts. This enables UnionBank to offer non-traditional payment options to Small and Medium Enterprises, Distributors, Suppliers and Dealers while digitizing the invoice presentment and demand order processing.

The development (in partnership with IBM) of the Financial Supply Chain System on Blockchain gives the Distributors, Dealers and Suppliers that are enrolled in the system the confidence to avail non-traditional financing options on a single click of a button. This provides efficiency in managing their receivables and payables as manual processing takes too much time.

NETS’ Click

NETS Click enables the digitisation of NETS Bank Cards on third party merchant mobile applications for secure seamless payments. The product was conceived and built in-house with a lean project team comprising cross-functional domain experts from product, technology, security and compliance teams. The design is aligned to concepts of EMVCo’s Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) and fulfils equally stringent industry security requirements.

NETS Click features a highly advanced security design incorporating multi-layered mobile digital security, EMV-based tokenisation technology, bank card and consumer verification methods. Most importantly, it was developed with a human-centred product design. The result is a simple and friendly user journey incorporating advanced mobile runtime threat detection coupled with host-based AI-driven fraud and security monitoring.

TMRW by UOB’s Intelligent Assistant

TMRW’s distinct service delivery model brings together a complex orchestration of chatbot, live chat, and VOIP voice call similar to some of the leading messaging platforms – creating an experience unmatched by any typical bank. TMRW’s chatbot Tia (TMRW Intelligent Assistant) is right at the center of this experience.

The chatbot orchestration is the first digital service model that uses chatbot to orchestrate the delivery of customer service as a combination of self service, FAQ responses and human support through voice or chat – all without the user having to ever exit or switch away from the TMRW app.

The New Normal is Digital

It is still early to conclude what’s the landscape will look like once the dust fully settles. As it is, the battle against the current pandemic is still ongoing. From a purely financial context, we can clearly see the signs towards increased digitisation of payments. How big and how fast it will grow still remains to be seen.

We can only hope that the present crisis could be eliminated soon. As the world continues to rely on technology to solve many of today’s ills, our habits, patterns and way of living never ceases to evolve. One thing is for sure: the COVID-19 is forcing upon us a new normal – a new normal that thrives on increased digitisation.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

3 Things Private Banks Can Learn From this Period of Pandemic

3 Things Private Banks Can Learn From this Period of Pandemic

Soon after the financial crisis that turned the global economy in shambles in 2008, regulators came up with policies to avoid a more disastrous re occurrence. And they weren’t off point when they stipulated that banks should beef up capital and fortify their liquidity against the impacts of any future financial crises.

Furthermore, regulators had to put each bank through a yearly assessment to ascertain whether they were equipped enough to scale through the worsts of economic meltdowns. Based on studies, a very sharp global GDP decline of up to 7% would’ve already been pretty bad. At the time, bankers and regulators thought it was the worst the world could ever experience.

However, with the occurrence of the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with governments’ reactions to its damaging effects, many economies are on the verge of a total shutdown. And the projected decline of global GDP may even be worse than earlier projections. As the situation is still very fluid, no one can even tell when will the worst be over. This now warrants a re-examination of the fate of the private banking sector.

Here are the 3 things private banks can learn from this period of the pandemic:

The projected decline of global GDP may even be worse than earlier projections. As the situation is still very fluid, no one can even tell when will the worst be over. This now warrants a re-examination of the fate of the private banking sector.

1. Digital Interactions are Worth It

Before the pandemic, only a few wealth managers could boast of harnessing digital platforms to interact with their clients. However, as the pandemic lingers, many wealth owners have resorted to digital platforms for communication with their wealth managers. And given that digital platforms are more convenient and efficient than physical ones, digital means of wealth management may remain relevant even after the pandemic. Wealth managers who are unable to implement digital strategies may fall into the losing team.

2. Crisis Prediction Must Take a Holistic Approach

No prediction could get close enough to guessing that the coronavirus pandemic would occur the way it did. In the same manner, it never occurred to financial experts that the virus would impact the global economy so severely. The world economy was caught unaware by the pandemic because new investment schemes were being carried out based on information obtained from individual commissions. Hence the pandemic simply points to the fact that future financial researches may have to be done from a more holistic point of view.

3. Working Remotely is a Win-Win

Wealth managers may need to incorporate remote offices into their work models if they intend to stay relevant. The pandemic has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is possible to keep a business going from different homes. As a matter of fact, remote offices are more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. And although a lot still has to be done to implement new business principles while working remotely, it is only a matter of time before it becomes prevalent.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

What Lessons Wealth Managers Can Gain from the COVID-19 Crisis

What Lessons Wealth Managers Can Gain from the COVID-19 Crisis

By all indications, almost all sectors of the economy are bound to suffer a significant blow during the current pandemic. Before the pandemic, many private banks that handle the finances of affluent customers were merely struggling to stay afloat. Positioned between large international banks and startup local financial institutions, private banks have always experienced difficulties in attracting customers to themselves.

However, with the onset of the virus, the wealth management sector will likely experience a significant shift in its operations. Those that have strategically planned how to best take advantage of this period will emerge victorious. While others that continue to operate with increased costs and diminishing margins may be taken out of business.

Here are some lessons wealth managers can glean from the current COVID-19 crisis:

Clients’ Data is as Important as the Clients Themselves

Wealth managers who fail to harness the power of data may suffer losses in this period. Gone are the days when client data is obtained haphazardly and without any regard to privacy. The way things look, private banks may need to be more thoughtful in getting and utilizing their clients’ data if they are going to work effectively.

Education Never Ends

Even when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, work and life, in general, may not remain as they were. Bankers and employers may need to get engaged in continuous education across several disciplines to stay relevant. And wealth management firms that will also remain relevant would have to learn to integrate ongoing learning experiences into their operative business models.

Adjustments in wealth management priorities will also spell a need for a change in investment models. Future clients (who have experienced the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic) would definitely lose interest in conventional investment models.

Priorities and Values Will Shift

A lot of businesses and industries may have to readjust their values after this pandemic. The upcoming generation may also come to appreciate values like modesty, transparency, and sustainability. For wealth managers, this priority shift may focus on providing their clients with real solutions to their needs – not void marketing promises. And those who fail to implement relevant changes in their values may not get the best of clients afterward.

Conventional Will Give Way to Innovation

Adjustments in wealth management priorities will also spell a need for a change in investment models. Future clients (who have experienced the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic) would definitely lose interest in conventional investment models. They would begin to seek platforms that allow them to invest in thematic ventures rather than complex financial commodities. In essence, Private Banks may also need to look to more persuasive and thorough investment models after the pandemic.

Operational Resilience is Key

Perhaps one of the most important lessons this present crisis has taught us is that resilience, in all aspects of our lives, is a key ingredient to thrive in this environment. Similar to how sophisticated systems and products are being subjected to thorough stress-testing, business operations of private banks must also live up to the challenges ahead of it. The bank’s leadership must put in place effective stop-gap measures to deal with immediate concerns, then move to a more sustainable operational models absent any conventional tools and support to make sure business will survive- and thrive – in times of prolonged difficulties.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.