KPMG: Digital adoption key to APAC wealth management
According to recent analysis by KPMG, the Asia Pacific region is becoming a leading destination for wealth management and private banking, thanks to digital delivery of sophisticated products and services across the region.
One of the main factors driving this is the influence of wealthy mainland China outbound clients, as well as increased access to mobile technology.
The Digital Wealth Management in Asia Pacific report identifies Hong Kong and Singapore as the most supportive and developed markets for wealth management in the region, with significant growth opportunities in mainland China and India.
“There is a clear gap in Asia for a powerful, compelling, sophisticated-yet-easy-to-use digital wealth management offering aimed at the region's emerging and growing wealthy,” says Larry Campbell, Partner, Head of Financial Services Strategy, KPMG Asia Pacific.
“In individual domestic markets, some local banks put in a good showing, as do a handful of WealthTechs. In the region as a whole, only a couple of universal banks appear to have the product shelf and economic clout to truly dominate. Wealth transference across generations is only really occurring in some markets, such as Hong Kong. Others will follow as people in these other markets age and the markets themselves mature.”
The Covid-19 pandemic pushed many wealth management clients online for remote interaction, which proved particularly appealing to Hong Kong’s affluent segment of younger, tech-savvy clients.
Wealth managers in the report highlighted 'holistic digital ecosystem/ multi-channel delivery', 'self-service investment platforms' and 'instant messaging apps' are the top three capabilities to attract this younger generation.
Simon Gleave, Partner, Head of Financial Services, Asia Pacific, KPMG China, says global and regional institutions are attracted to the fast-growing market in the region.
“The pro-investment regulatory environments in markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore have been attracting a large amount of individual wealth and corporate capital from around the world,” says Gleave.
“As a result, most of the top traditional banks are expanding their presence in the region, while the stronger Asian banks are working on developing their wealth management businesses in these markets.”
The report highlights Hong Kong’s sophisticated IT infrastructure playing a significant part in Hong Kong’s leading banks spearheading a wave of technological enhancements, including WealthTech growth, high offshore wealth management demand, virtual banking, cross-border collaborations and new payment mechanisms.
Nancy Yeung, Partner, Wealth and Personal Banking, and Operations, KPMG China, says: "To tackle the intense competition in the Asian wealth management market, banks must focus on technologies offering efficient online solutions to mass affluent clients, augment their succession planning services to HNWI families, accelerate digital adoption, with an increased focus on leveraging Big Data analytics, partner with more fintechs for advanced solutions, including quicker digital onboarding, strengthen the digital capabilities of their advisors and probably form their own virtual banks."
DBS Bank expands digital trade finance on Contour platform
DBS Bank has boosted its digitalisation extending its offerings on trade finance network Contour to corporate customers in four key Asia-Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Singapore-based DBS was the first bank to sign up to Contour’s beta network and completed the first fully digital Letter of Credit (LC) transaction on Contour last year. The bank has moved to Contour’s production network to offer streamlined digital LC transactions for customers, to help digitise global trade.
Contour’s network focuses on digitising paper-based trade finance processes which can be expensive and time-consuming.
APAC is seen as a key region for digitisation of trade finance as banks and corporates seek to mitigate risk and enhance cost efficiency, including moving away from traditional paper-based LC processes.
Via Contour, which is also based in Singapore, DBS will be able to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process for customers in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents – increasing efficiency in the process by up to 90%.
Digitised trade finance builds resilient ecosystem
“Our partnership with Contour aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for our corporate customers,” said Sriram Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank.
“We recognise that digitisation is a powerful enabler to simplify the highly complex nature of trade finance, especially for processes relating to letters of credit. Digitising trade processes is also an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for corporates to survive and thrive in the new normal and will form an integral component for resilient trade ecosystems of the future.”
Contour’s decentralised network increases security as it validates all identities and leverages technology partners to match trade documents to real-time data. Contour also offers a sustainable way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
“The addition of another major Asian bank to our production network highlights Contour’s growing presence in APAC as an industry standard for digitising trade finance documentation,” said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour.
“DBS has been an important partner for Contour in our work to support Singapore’s position as a key trading hub and has already participated in a number of successful transactions on our network. We’re delighted to facilitate its transition to offering live services to customers in these four markets. This is another important step on our journey to becoming the new digital end-to-end infrastructure for global trade.”