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China private banks lead AUM growth

Private banking divisions of two of China’s largest banks have seen the largest jump in assets under management (AUM), while many of the largest firms struggle.

China Merchants Bank saw its AUM grow in 2015 by 58% in dollar terms while ICBC saw AUM grow 29%.

By comparison, eight of the top ten private banks – all European or North American – saw AUM fall, including Royal Bank of Canada, which saw a 12% fall, and Citi which saw a 7.6% fall.

A number of private banks saw a “notable slowdown” last year in the growth of AUM, said Scorpio Partnership, a London-based wealth management consultancy the carried out the research.

In base currency terms, fewer of the the top ten saw AUM fall. RBC, for example, saw its AUM increase 5% in Canadian dollar terms.

The Chinese banks still saw the largest percentage jump in base currency terms.

Scorpio Partnership said the global private banking industry is facing tough challenges ahead to achieve growth.

Among the factors affecting results have been volatile markets and clients hesitating to onboard business at levels previously experienced.

In base currency terms, the top ten banks percentage gains or falls for 2015 are (in ascending order):

Citi -7.6
Credit Suisse -7.1
Morgan Stanley -2.8
Bank of America Merrill Lynch -2.1
UBS -0.5
Goldman Sachs 1.7
JP Morgan 2.1
Deutsche 3.6
Royal Bank of Canada 5.1
BNP Paribas 6.2

China Merchants Bank and ICBC rank 20 and 23, respectively, from a list of 25 in the Scorpio Partnership Global Banking Benchmark.

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