Nov. 27, 2012
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Report: Social Media for Wealth Management 2012

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Wealth Managers Lacking Social Media Strategy

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Responding to the startling rise of social media, the majority of leading private banks and wealth managers are improving in deploying certain elements of social media and some platforms but, for the most part, lack effective social media strategies. This is the main finding of our 2012 report “Social Media for Wealth Management”, which analyses the social media activities of the 30 leading providers of private banking and wealth management services worldwide.

Only the frontrunners among the wealth managers surveyed utilize social media networks in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, thereby reaching out effectively to their affluent users. The winner of our 2012 benchmarking analysis, the first-time ranked US broker and wealth manager Charles Schwab, excels with a truly interactive, lively Facebook page. The 2010 winner, Deutsche Bank, came in second in this year’s ranking, a highlight of the bank’s performance being a bilingual YouTube channel that contains a broad variety of videos about a whole range of the bank's activities. Coutts jumped from the 18th rank in the last ranking to the third place this year and scores particular well with its social media on its own website, including a private virtual community for its own high net worth clients.

Top 10 Wealth Managers' Social Media Presences (overall 30 wealth managers ranked):
 Rank 2012 (Rank 2010)   Wealth Manager
Total Points (max. 50)
     1    (New) - Charles Schwab 42
     2     (1)    Deutsche Bank 41
     3    (18) Coutts 38
     4    (15) Citigroup 37
     4    (17) - Société Généralé 37
     6     (7)    Barclays 36
     6     (2)    Crédit Agricole 36
     8   (New) - Fidelity 34
     8    (10) Pictet 34
   10   (New) - Investec 33
   10    (13)    Well Fargo 33


Our survey shows that, compared to the 2010 edition of this report, the average score awarded to the leading wealth managers’ social media presences has doubled from 13 to 27 points. However, these wealth managers still have a long way to go to come close to the maximum possible 50 points. In the most worrying survey result, the report identifies just 20% of the banks and wealth managers as having effective overall strategies for targeting social media at wealthy clients in place. More than half of the banks seem to have no social media strategy for this segment at all – effectively relying on a patchwork trial-and-error approach to build their social media.

We see modest improvements since our previous survey which suggest that wealth managers, by and large, are on the right track, but reaching only half of their potential in a medium rapidly growing in importance for the target group. There is still no comprehensive, targeted approach to social media deployment in wealth management, of the kind that we find increasingly in banks’ social media activities aimed at retail customers.

We regard the missing strategic direction of the wealth managers’ social media activities as the root cause for the mixed results many banks achieve for their social media:

  • Many wealth managers still not present on Facebook and LinkedIn. A staggering 14 out of 30 wealth managers do not offer a dedicated wealth management presence on Facebook and 12 wealth managers have no special LinkedIn presence. On a positive note the wealth managers with presences on these media platforms have improved their offerings in the last two years significantly.

  • Deployment of Twitter improves, but still misses targeted approach. Two thirds of the wealth managers surveyed have relevant streams for private banking clients, compared to only 50% of the wealth managers in 2010. Although the scores for content are less encouraging: out of the 30 wealth managers analyzed, 26 do not have relevant Twitter streams in more than one language.

  • Social media content on wealth manager websites now widely offered, but not kept up-to-date: The proportion of banks using social media such as blogs or podcasts on their websites grows from 30% to 75%; however, only half of the banks are found to be keeping these resources up-to-date.

  • Only YouTube and videos on the wealth managers’ own websites score well across all criteria: in the survey the wealth managers reach on average a strong 80% of the maximum achievable points for their video channels.

MyPrivateBanking Research strongly advises the leadership of globally active wealth management firms to open up to social media, to determine the strategic direction, and to build a dedicated group of media-savvy communication professionals that monitor, coordinate and support the day-to-day activities on the various social media platforms in different markets. Wealth managers must have a presence in all relevant social media; they should be present and active in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, and establish social media elements on its website. Ensuring that all social media presences are kept active and lively is key, as social media is all about interaction and continuous updates.


About the report: The report „Social Media for Wealth Management 2012“ analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the social media presences of the 30 largest Private Banks and Wealth Managers worldwide. 
In total almost 250 social media presences were evaluated. Using 32 criteria, the social media activities of each bank are ranked, on the basis of an individual evaluation for their presence in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, together with an assessment of their offerings of social media applications on their own websites and their overall media strategy.

Social Media Presences Analysed: ABN AMRO, Banco Itaú , BNY Mellon, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Coutts, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, DBS, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, Investec, Julius Baer, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, Pictet, RBC, Standard Chartered, Société Générale, SunTrust, UBS, U.S. Trust, Wells Fargo 

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Report: Social Media for Wealth Management 2012

Wealth Managers Lacking Social Media Strategy

  Nov. 27, 2012

Social Media Sign

Responding to the startling rise of social media, the majority of leading private banks and wealth managers are improving in deploying certain elements of social media and some platforms but, for the most part, lack effective social media strategies. This is the main finding of our 2012 report “Social Media for Wealth Management”, which analyses the social media activities of the 30 leading providers of private banking and wealth management services worldwide.

Only the frontrunners among the wealth managers surveyed utilize social media networks in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, thereby reaching out effectively to their affluent users. The winner of our 2012 benchmarking analysis, the first-time ranked US broker and wealth manager Charles Schwab, excels with a truly interactive, lively Facebook page. The 2010 winner, Deutsche Bank, came in second in this year’s ranking, a highlight of the bank’s performance being a bilingual YouTube channel that contains a broad variety of videos about a whole range of the bank's activities. Coutts jumped from the 18th rank in the last ranking to the third place this year and scores particular well with its social media on its own website, including a private virtual community for its own high net worth clients.

Top 10 Wealth Managers' Social Media Presences (overall 30 wealth managers ranked):
 Rank 2012 (Rank 2010)   Wealth Manager
Total Points (max. 50)
     1    (New) - Charles Schwab 42
     2     (1)    Deutsche Bank 41
     3    (18) Coutts 38
     4    (15) Citigroup 37
     4    (17) - Société Généralé 37
     6     (7)    Barclays 36
     6     (2)    Crédit Agricole 36
     8   (New) - Fidelity 34
     8    (10) Pictet 34
   10   (New) - Investec 33
   10    (13)    Well Fargo 33


Our survey shows that, compared to the 2010 edition of this report, the average score awarded to the leading wealth managers’ social media presences has doubled from 13 to 27 points. However, these wealth managers still have a long way to go to come close to the maximum possible 50 points. In the most worrying survey result, the report identifies just 20% of the banks and wealth managers as having effective overall strategies for targeting social media at wealthy clients in place. More than half of the banks seem to have no social media strategy for this segment at all – effectively relying on a patchwork trial-and-error approach to build their social media.

We see modest improvements since our previous survey which suggest that wealth managers, by and large, are on the right track, but reaching only half of their potential in a medium rapidly growing in importance for the target group. There is still no comprehensive, targeted approach to social media deployment in wealth management, of the kind that we find increasingly in banks’ social media activities aimed at retail customers.

We regard the missing strategic direction of the wealth managers’ social media activities as the root cause for the mixed results many banks achieve for their social media:

  • Many wealth managers still not present on Facebook and LinkedIn. A staggering 14 out of 30 wealth managers do not offer a dedicated wealth management presence on Facebook and 12 wealth managers have no special LinkedIn presence. On a positive note the wealth managers with presences on these media platforms have improved their offerings in the last two years significantly.

  • Deployment of Twitter improves, but still misses targeted approach. Two thirds of the wealth managers surveyed have relevant streams for private banking clients, compared to only 50% of the wealth managers in 2010. Although the scores for content are less encouraging: out of the 30 wealth managers analyzed, 26 do not have relevant Twitter streams in more than one language.

  • Social media content on wealth manager websites now widely offered, but not kept up-to-date: The proportion of banks using social media such as blogs or podcasts on their websites grows from 30% to 75%; however, only half of the banks are found to be keeping these resources up-to-date.

  • Only YouTube and videos on the wealth managers’ own websites score well across all criteria: in the survey the wealth managers reach on average a strong 80% of the maximum achievable points for their video channels.

MyPrivateBanking Research strongly advises the leadership of globally active wealth management firms to open up to social media, to determine the strategic direction, and to build a dedicated group of media-savvy communication professionals that monitor, coordinate and support the day-to-day activities on the various social media platforms in different markets. Wealth managers must have a presence in all relevant social media; they should be present and active in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, and establish social media elements on its website. Ensuring that all social media presences are kept active and lively is key, as social media is all about interaction and continuous updates.


About the report: The report „Social Media for Wealth Management 2012“ analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the social media presences of the 30 largest Private Banks and Wealth Managers worldwide. 
In total almost 250 social media presences were evaluated. Using 32 criteria, the social media activities of each bank are ranked, on the basis of an individual evaluation for their presence in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, together with an assessment of their offerings of social media applications on their own websites and their overall media strategy.

Social Media Presences Analysed: ABN AMRO, Banco Itaú , BNY Mellon, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Coutts, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, DBS, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, Investec, Julius Baer, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, Pictet, RBC, Standard Chartered, Société Générale, SunTrust, UBS, U.S. Trust, Wells Fargo