Private Banks Not First Choice For Wealthy – StanChart Report

The majority of high net worth business owners prefer consulting lawyers and accountants over their private banks for planning their wealth transfer to their successors, a new study finds.



Private banks were not the top choice among high net worth (HNW) individuals for their wealth transfer planning to their successors, according to a report by Standard Chartered Private Bank.

Around 85 per cent of the respondents consult lawyers and accountants for their wealth planning needs while only 50 per cent consulted a private bank, said the study that polled 60 HNW business owners in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

“As these business owners are in the early stages of developing a personal/family wealth management strategy, and are highly focused on the operational and financing aspects of business growth, lawyers and accountants emerge as the most trusted overall advisors on whom they rely heavily for advice, both from business and personal fronts,” the report said.

The study also found that the majority of HNW individuals lack formal plans to transfer their wealth to the next generation with only 51 per cent of the respondents having a structure for the transfer of personal wealth.

Proper structures of wealth transfer were also more likely to be found among those HNW individuals who are not part of the founding generation of the business. Almost 67 per cent of the next generation HNW business owners had a structure to transfer wealth compared to 45 per cent of the founding generation, the report said.

The study also noted that governance and formal planning needed to improve among HNW business owners as only half of those polled had a formal governance structure.

However, almost 55 per cent of older businesses had a formal governance structure in place compared to 50 per cent in the case of new businesses.

The report also found that business growth took precedence over increasing personal wealth for most HNW individuals. The majority of those polled said that growing their business remained their mid to long term goal.

Around 82 per cent of all business owners said that increasing their market share was important or very important to them while raising production capacity and international expansion were their secondary objectives.

A recent report by Emirates Investment Bank also showed that almost 90 per cent of the GCC’s HNWIs were more focused on wealth generation than preservation.

The study also found that the majority of them allocated their wealth into their own businesses and expected this investment to rise in the near future.