Anand Selvakesari, Citi's Asia-Pacific head for consumer
banking, told Reuters that growth in net new money, a key
measure of profitability of the wealth business, improved in
2016 from around mid-single digit levels in the last four to
The bank has expanded its digital offerings to tap more young
clientele, and has also launched new products, Selvakesari said
in an interview.
He did not disclose net new money dollar figures. Private
bankers and wealth managers usually are guarded in giving out
numbers of any kind because of client privacy concerns and
Asia has emerged as the main battleground for global wealth
managers, with higher economic growth, rapidly rising wages and
a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem producing rich clients at a
pace faster than the western world.
That trend helped Citi's regional wealth business add 8-12
percent new customers last year, the executive said.
In Asia, the Citi wealth business, as part of its consumer
banking unit headed by Selvakesari, taps people with investable
assets of between $50,000 and $10 million. Those with more than
$10 million are clients of the bank's private banking unit.
Citigroup's top three wealth markets in Asia by revenue are Hong
Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. The bank's other fast-growing
markets in the region include China, India, South Korea and
"There is continuous wealth generation happening - a growing
emerging affluent segment. At the top of the pyramid, wealth
continues to grow in these big markets," Selvakesari said.
"The potential is there for double-digit growth given the
demographics in these markets."
In 2016, Asia-Pacific posted a rise of 4.5 percent in total
household wealth to $80 trillion, as per Credit Suisse Research
Institute's annual global wealth report, versus 2 percent growth
in North America and a negative 1.7 percent in Europe.
Wealth per adult in Asia-Pacific increased by 2.9 percent in
2016, the fastest pace among all regions, it said, adding wealth
in Asia-Pacific will likely grow by 6.3 percent annually,
reaching $109 trillion by 2021.
Citi posted on Wednesday a 7 percent rise in its global net
income to $3.57 billion. [nL4N1F846S]
The bank's Asia consumer banking revenue rose 4 percent from a
year ago to $1.7 billion, helped by growth in the wealth
management and cards businesses, it said in a presentation. The
bank does not break down regional wealth management revenue.
Citi has tied up with e-commerce companies in Asia such as
ride-hailing firm Grab and online retailer Lazada Group to boost
its credit card business in the region.
Selvakesari said one in four credit cards for the bank are now
acquired through digital platforms such as China's mobile social
media network WeChat and Japan's Line instant messaging service,
with plans to ramp it up to 50 percent in the next three years.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Muralikumar
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