DBS Expands HK Private Banking Headcount by 25% on Better Flows

(Bloomberg) — DBS Group Holdings Ltd. is hiring more private bankers in Hong Kong where the bank is increasingly attracting money from both mainland China and Taiwan, North Asia business head Sebastian Paredes said.

The number of clients acquired from mainland China totaled close to 1,200 this year, Paredes told David Ingles in an interview on Bloomberg TV. The bank has seen “substantial” flows from Taiwan in the past 12 months, the executive said without elaborating.

“We continue to hire,” said Paredes, who is also chairman of the bank’s China unit. “This year for example, we are expanding more than 25% our headcount in private banking business alone,” he said.

Read More: DBS Bets on China Wealth Business With New Hong Kong Branch

Singapore’s biggest lender is moving in as some of the older international banks in Hong Kong scale back. DBS replaced Credit Suisse as the third largest private bank in Asia, excluding onshore China, last year with some $201 billion assets under management, according to Asian Private Banker. Total headcount of relationship managers grew 12% to 730 in 2023 from a year earlier and topped HSBC, according to the publication.

Paredes praised the Hong Kong government’s efforts in promoting the city’s status as a tourism and entertainment hub for Chinese mainlanders. Still, he warned the city is facing competition in tourism from countries such as Japan, where the cheap yen has diverted tourist attention.

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