31st January 2022

Private Banking: current and future trends

The world has become digital. Innovation is therefore a necessity in the private banking and wealth management sectors in order to provide profitable services. What are the current and future trends in Private Banking? We talked about to William Telkes, Vice President and Head of Business Unit, Private Banking at Spuerkeess.

1. How has the private banking profession changed over the past few years?

The profession has not really changed; the principle remains the same. On the other hand, products and services have had to adapt to a customer base that has evolved over time, as customers today have increasingly specific needs. With digitisation, customers have more access to information and thus, they have gained advanced financial education. As a result, they want a much more personalised service. Moreover, we must take into account the different generations and within these segments, our customers are also culturally diverse.

At the same time, the profiles of private banking advisors had to adapt. Our business depends on a relationship of trust. It is therefore essential that advisors speak not only the same “language” as the customer, but also have a perfect understanding of their needs. These changes and adaptations should continue, particularly with the emergence of new trends such as the rapid digitisation of banking activities.

2. In terms of digitisation, what trends do you see arising in the future?

In the near future, the technological development of our tools should allow us not only to manage risk, but also to show our customers the progress on defined objectives in a more user-friendly manner. Indeed, we see that our clients are not only interested in the performance of their investment, but also, increasingly, in the objectives they can achieve with our different solutions. Examples include the recent success of our “Activmandate Green” discretionary management solution, which is a thematic investment that targets the long-term growth of the invested portfolio - while at the same time contributing to sustainable development objectives.

This increased digitisation should also enable us to have a better understanding of our customers’ habits and preferences and allow us to offer increasingly personalised services. In particular, in terms of advice, artificial intelligence could enable our systems to learn automatically in order to refine the investment recommendations made to customers.

Blockchain technology could potentially increase the security and operational efficiency of a business, but also its innovation. Apps, particularly mobile apps, are also set to evolve, allowing customers to better monitor their investment evolution and their related objectives, and facilitating access to their private banking advisor. However, regardless of technological developments, I would like to point out that the relationship with our customers will not fundamentally change, as its basis remains the relationship of trust created with them. To this end, human exchange is still greatly important.

3. William, what are your 5 tips for readers interested in Private Banking?

The 5 tips for readers interested in private banking:

1. Choose a trusted partner with a stable business model.
2. Analyse the historical performance of the solutions offered, while informing yourself about the investment philosophy of the institution concerned.
3. Select solutions that you understand, that meet your needs and, above all, that are compatible with your risk profile and objectives.
4. Compare and evaluate the offers of different players, especially when assessing the level of service obtained for comparable fees.
5. Determine your level of involvement; depending on the solution, a client can take a more or less active role.

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