The FuturePriority Report, which surveyed almost 3,000 wealthy individuals between October and November 2011, found that 72% of affluent Asians considered “brand reputation” important when selecting a bank. Two-thirds said that “staff efficiency” was key, followed by “high quality reporting and reviews” (59%), and “new investment opportunities” (58%).
Looking ahead, however, respondents placed a greater emphasis on advice, with 90% expecting financial companies to educate them in relation to investment and wealth strategies. Over the next five years, half forecast that they would increase their use of the internet as a tool to make investment choices, while 44% said they would take more financial advice before investing.
Foo Mee Har, the global head of priority and international banking at Standard Chartered, said: “Customers, not banks, are driving the agenda in Asia. The Asian affluent are clearly wealthier and more sophisticated than before. They have distinctive and more complex needs and hence cannot be treated with a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
“Therefore, to succeed in this important client segment, banks need to focus more on their service and quality of their advisory processes, rather on the products they sell. Assuming the role of a trusted advisor also means really listening to what the client is asking for, and treating them in a holistic manner to include their families, their business and their global ambitions.”
Another key finding in the study was that affluent Asians remain confident in relation to wealth creation over the long term. Despite a “slight dip” in short-term confidence owing to the uncertain economic landscape, the report said, wealthy individuals in the region plan to grow their net worth to an average of $4m during the next ten years, requiring an annual return of 12%.
South Korean respondents had the highest money goal of $6m over the next decade, followed by India ($4.8m) and China ($4.5m). On a shorter-term outlook, almost nine in ten affluent Indians were also confident they would grow their wealth during the next 12 months. Indonesians were the most bullish over this time-frame, however, with 98% expecting growth over the next year.
Research for the FuturePriority Report was compiled using the responses of 2,768 individuals with an average of $1.4m in assets, based in nine markets: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.