Swiss survey shows considerable shortcomings in leading European private banks
Private Banking Lacks Customer Orientation - Nordea, Sal. Opp and UBS are Exceptions
Zurich, 18.06. 2009 - The majority of the large European private banks do not adequately address the needs of their clients. This is the key finding of a study conducted by MyPrivateBanking.com, the independent platform for clients of private banks.
The study identifies three main shortcomings of the analysed banks:
- Clients are not listened to: More than 25% of the advisers who were tested practically asked no questions at all.
- Investment not in consensus with the client’s needs: More than half the banks presented an investment proposal that did not adequately take the client’s risk appetite into account: In more than 25% of the cases, the proposed investment was even completely opposite to the client’s preferences.
- Misleading cost proposals: One third of the banks had fee structures that included a significant amount of hidden costs, through a large number of managed funds and in-house products.
“We were surprised by the high percentage of banks that did not address the investment goals of the client adequately and just recommended their off-the-shelf proposals.” says Christian Nolterieke, Managing Director of MyPrivateBanking.com. “Further, banks should be more transparent, so that clients know about hidden costs that often can be as high as the stated direct fees”.
What is positive is that the investment proposals on the whole were highly diversified across the various investment categories and that the banks were beginning to rely increasingly on questionnaires to capture the client’ wishes.
The private banking of Nordea, Sal. Oppenheim and UBS received overall the best ratings.
The Scandinavian bank Nordea is the winner and impressed by its extensive client mapping and an investment proposal that showed that the bank had understood the needs of the client full.
The German private bank Sal. Oppenheim was ranked second and offered a very cost efficient proposal that also did full justice to the client needs.
The Swiss UBS showed a particularly high level of professionalism in its interactions with clients.
“On average, all surveyed banks attained only 52 of a total of 100 possible points. A very mixed result” says Steffen Binder, Research Director of MyPrivateBanking.com. “However, there were big differences among the banks and not only our winners showed good approaches.”
About the study:
In 2009, analysts of MyPrivateBanking.com visited twenty leading providers of private banking services in Europe, as test client. The study was done in a manner that was independent of the banks and was done without any commissioning body. To enhance the comparability, the branches of these banks in Switzerland, the global centre for asset management, were approached and at least one discussion was held there. The test client obtained an investment proposal and cost estimate for an identical investment amount. The evaluation was done with the help of a written proposal based on objective criteria, and was divided into the categories Client Meeting, Investment Proposal and Costs. The detailed evaluation of the survey, including the evaluation of the Top 3 banks in each evaluation category, can be obtained by downloading the study “Insufficient Client Focus: A Survey of European Private Banks”.
MyPrivateBanking.com is an independent platform for information and networking for wealthy private clients across the world. Established in 2009 in Switzerland, MyPrivateBanking.com offers a variety of information to assist investors in making their decisions. This includes in-house research, articles and updates related to asset management, detailed bank directories and client evaluations of wealth managers across the world. The interactive “MyWealth” online network allows the clients looking for asset managers and private banks to get in touch with one another and exchange experiences. MyPrivateBanking.com aims at making wealth management more transparent, more cost effective and giving it a greater client focus. For further information please check www.myprivatebanking.com.
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