Managing Legal Risks Associated with Private Banking in Asia
Jonathan Boswell, Head of Legal, Barclays Asia - Wealth, Commercial Contracts and Litigation, Barclays Bank Plc, Singapore
The private banking industry in Asia is growing very quickly with numerous banks making significant investments (both organic and inorganic) in the region. This development is in line with the creation of wealth in Asia which is outpacing the rest of the world. This increase in wealth is creating greater demand for wealth management expertise. Asian wealth clients may not necessarily have the same characteristics nor interest in the same investment themes as clients with more established wealth in more developed markets. Private Banks are responding by increasing the size of front office teams. Firms are applying different strategies to facilitate that growth. This is all set against an evolving local regulatory environment seeking to balance global developments against country specific experiences (often driven by disparate social, economic, political and cultural factors). It is critical for in-house lawyers to understand both the socio-economic background and their firm’s strategy in formulating their approach to the legal challenges that are being created by the rapid growth of private banking in Asia. This means carefully considering the appropriate legal support model and the management of the associated legal risks.
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