Evolution of private banking and wealth management resulting from digitalisation

Study

September 2016

Some attributes of private banking do not – should not – change.

Highly individual approach towards every single client, personal relationships between the bankers and the banked, an extra mile the former are willing to go in terms of client’s wellbeing, a finger constantly kept on the pulse – these are the industry’s solid foundations. A rock that will never be swept away by the sea.

What changes in front of our eyes though, are the methods of delivering all that value. Portfolio analyses and product recommendations prepared in spreadsheets are inexorably becoming a thing of the past. It’s the clash of realities: the most tradition-bound banking realm, associated with wax seals and fountain pens is now cracking under the pressure of bits and bytes of the new tomorrow. When finally here, it’s bound to transform the way clients are engaged by, obtain information from and interact with financial providers.

Private bankers need to increasingly cater to a new, emerging generation of clients, out of whom many will be full digital natives. The necessity to keep up with their growing expectations and dynamic lifestyles poses a significant challenge for the industry. Add emerging competitors and business models to the mix, and you may come to the conclusion that the sector depends on technology more than ever before.

With this report we are now taking a closer look at new elements of the private banking landscape: novel online forms of the bank-client interaction, robo-advice with regard to automating processes where human touch is not a must, and finally virtual incarnations of additional lifestyle services being part of new customer experience in almost every aspect of HNWIs’ dolce vita.

Our aim was to examine how banks and wealth management companies are currently using, and plan to use, digital technologies – and, more importantly, how relationships in private banking have evolved with time from traditional to digital ones.

Specifically, the report explores the main reasons and aims of digitizing the wealth management and private banking sectors along with defining activities and processes that might potentially be moved from the bankers’ side to digital selfservice channels. Apart from that, we strived to specify the real beneficiaries and promising areas of digitization.

What disruptions in terms of the latter are going to leave the biggest mark on private banking services? Should any of these services be digitized with high priority? Which particular initiatives are therefore worth investing in? These are some of the questions that we hoped to find answers to.

Keywords : Affluent/Private , Digital/Mobile channels