Individuals who invest sizeable assets in a bank are often offered private banking, investment and other financial services. This type of banking forms a more elite and extremely important subset of wealth management. Private banking has traditionally been viewed as a very restricted niche that only caters to high net worth individuals with liquidity over half a million US dollars, though it is now possible to open private banking accounts with as little as $50,000. The rationale is that these levels of wealth allow customers to participate in a greater range of investment products, and also prevent liquidity problems later on.
Private banking is primarily a credit service, and depends less on taking deposits than retail banking. Each customer is assigned a personal banker, who manages his or her accounts much like a broker manages an investor’s portfolio. The personal banker opens new accounts, takes loan applications and generally acts as a personal financial advisor.
Your private banker is supposed to help you manage your liabilities and assets, provide the liquidity needed for important investments, fund short-term cash flow needs and get financing for luxury items such as yachts and private jets. He or she should also help you manage your cash while increasing your interest earned, and find lending options that suit you. Financing solutions should be modified to your needs, and you should have access to lines of credit, custom loans and credit cards.
An emerging type of private banking is Islamic banking, which offers services consistent with Sharia laws. Sharia prohibits the payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money. Investments in businesses that produce goods and services contrary to Islamic principles are also prohibited. Some banks cater specifically to Islamic populations, while others, such as HSBC and other large international banks, provide Islamic banking as one of their services.
Since private banking deals mainly with elite customers, it has come to symbolise exceptional service. Private bankers go to great lengths to please their clients, because they bring in much more revenue than ordinary retail customers. They will take the time to listen to their clients’ aspirations and build personalised relationships in order to gain the insight necessary to tailor financial products that will help them meet their goals.
Your private banker will help you not only manage your wealth, but also develop and protect it for the future. He or she will help you find new sources of wealth, and give you specialist services that will impact both your business and leisure activities. Private bankers offer expertise in diverse fields, including property investment, philanthropy, media and tax advisory services.
In most cases, your private banker also becomes a channel to a complete network of professional advisors. Some banks offer private banking services on an invitation-only basis, while others will allow you to apply. Private banking is an excellent option for busy individuals, and the quick, personalised service can be of great benefit to clients who need that extra touch.
Private banking services include credit advisory/optimisation services, customised credit solutions, foreign and local jumbo construction and mortgage loans, preferred checking and savings accounts, professional practice loans, and lines of credit for both business and personal needs.