HSBC expands private banking in UAE to cater to growing millionaire base

Lender opens branch for clients with investable assets of more than $2m

The addition of the UAE takes the total number of international private wealth centres operated by HSBC to 11, the bank says. Reuters
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HSBC, Europe’s largest lender, has expanded its private banking business in the UAE to cater to the growing number of high-net-worth investors.

The new private bank is aimed at clients with investable assets of more than $2 million, HSBC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The launch of HSBC Bank Middle East Global Private Banking in the UAE complements the private banking services we have provided to clients through the DIFC since 2015,” said Abdulfattah Sharaf, chief executive of HSBC UAE and head of international, HSBC Bank Middle East.

“Opening a new branch of our private bank in the UAE adds an important location to HSBC’s global network of international wealth management hubs, giving the growing number of UAE-based millionaires more choice about where their assets are held.”

Dubai is the 23rd-most popular city in the world for ultra-wealthy residents, after the emirate recorded an 18 per cent increase in high-net-worth individuals who hold more than $1m in the first six months of 2022, according to a report last month by New World Wealth and Henley & Partners, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends.

The city’s population of high-net-worth individuals rose to 67,900, up from 54,000 in June last year, the study found.

The number of high-net-worth individuals in the UAE is expected to rise 39 per cent by 2026 to reach more than 228,000 people, from 163,000 in 2021, according to a March report by consultancy Knight Frank.

The UAE’s ultra-high-net-worth population, who hold assets of more than $30m, is expected to rise by 21 per cent in the same period.

HSBC now operates 11 international private wealth centres, with the UAE joining a network that includes Switzerland, Singapore, the UK, Luxembourg and the US.

“The UAE is a global private banking hub where our clients in the country, and our clients from around the world, increasingly tell us they want to hold part of their financial and real estate wealth,” Farzad Billimoria, managing director and head of private banking for the UAE at HSBC, said.

The lender, which also has a private banking unit in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, will offer onshore and offshore private wealth management services at the new branch.

Updated: October 19, 2022, 10:37 AM