Singapore’s homegrown private banks pushed back vigorously against their global rivals last year in the battle for the region’s wealth.

Bank of Singapore, the private wealth manager of OCBC Bank, grew its assets under management by about 44 per cent in 2016 to $79bn while adding about 80 relationship managers to its now 400-strong team, according to data from Asian Private Banker. The bank jumped four places on the regional league table.

UOB Private Bank, also Singapore based, lifted its AUM to $32bn, an increase of 23 per cent, after launching wealth services just two years ago. Singapore’s DBS is still Asia’s largest homegrown private bank with $81bn, growing 8.3 per cent last year.

The rate of growth at regional private banks has outstripped that of global peers such as UBS, Citi and Credit Suisse, the three largest private banks in the region.

UBS had $286bn in AUM at the end of last year but grew by just 4.5 per cent, APB estimated. Citi, with $218bn, expanded by 3.8 per cent. Deutsche Bank’s AUM in Asia fell by 13.4 per cent, the biggest drop in the region. HSBC’s private bank, still the region’s fourth-largest wealth manager, also contracted by about 3.6 per cent.

The average compound annual growth in assets under management since 2012 was 6.75 per cent.

Asia over the past five years has seen intense battling between regional and global players over the rapidly expanding wealth from country’s such as China and Indonesia. ANZ, Barclays and Société Générale have all dropped out of the Asia market, selling their businesses to regional players such as DBS and OCBC.

Smaller private banks have faced rising costs, and industry insiders expect more consolidation in the Asian private banking market this year.

Last week, FT reported that Standard Chartered’s private bank planned to increase the threshold of investable client assets from $2m to $5m this year, and will concentrate on attracting individuals and families with at least $30m in investable assets.

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