DBS Aims to Grow Hong Kong Retail Income by at Least 10%

Dbs Group Holdings Ltd.'s Pearlyn Phau
Pearlyn Phau, head of consumer banking for Hong Kong at Dbs Group Holdings Ltd. Source: DBS Singapore Via Bloomberg

DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Southeast Asia’s largest bank, plans to sell more services to wealthy people in Hong Kong to grow consumer banking revenue by at least 10 percent a year in the city.

DBS forecasts growth at that pace for “the near future,” Pearlyn Phau, head of consumer banking for Hong Kong, said in an interview yesterday. Revenue in the first nine months rose 14 percent from a year earlier, including 17 percent growth from wealth management, she said.

The expansion is part of Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta’s strategy of selling services to rich Asians to weather waning corporate demand as the economy slows in its home market of Singapore. DBS last year said it would invest S$250 million ($205 million) to build that business in Asia.

“In the last year, a lot of the efforts that we’ve put in, and going into the next few years, will really be shifted towards servicing the affluent customer base,” Phau said.

The Hong Kong unit aims to expand wealth management revenue, derived from services including selling bonds and funds, to account for one-third of its consumer banking income in the next two years, said Phau, who looks after clients with investable assets of HK$1 million to HK$25 million. She declined to disclose the current size of the business.

DBS last year started targeting individuals with HK$8 million of investable assets or more. That’s an extension of its private banking operation, which caters to customers with more than HK$25 million each.

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