5 Considerations When Choosing A Private Bank

Money Matters / Personal Finance

5 Considerations When Choosing A Private Bank

With so much at stake, signing with the wrong private bank can cost you more than just money – find out what you need to consider when selecting the best private bank for you.

Written by Xiou Ann Lim on 26 April 2017

Choosing a private bank can be daunting. Not only are you handing over a large sum of money for someone else to manage, often – when you are counting on them for advice on matters related to wealth transfer to your children or retirement planning – you depend on them to handle matters close to your heart.

So, how do you go about selecting one that’s right for you? Here are five things you need to consider before you decide.

01.

The best private bank is one that meets your specific needs

Are you looking for a private bank to help with succession planning? Philanthropy?
Are you looking for a way to access investments that are out of your reach?  Different private banks have strengths in different areas, which is why you should select one that has the right expertise in your area of need.

If you’re looking to invest your money in another country – for example – you might want to go with a private bank that has a footprint there as well. If you have corporate as well as personal needs, you might want to choose one that has corporate and private banking services.

02.

Size matters

While private banks often wax lyrical about how much they manage on behalf of clients – which is their assets under management (AUM) – this isn’t a hollow rhetoric. Annually, they are ranked according to the size of their AUMs and for good reason.

Bigger private banks often can provide a wider range of services and have the budget to invest more in offerings to their clients. So – if you enjoy additional perks and like the idea of a private bank that’s kitted out in bells and whistles – engaging a big private bank might be the right way to go.

That being said, there are advantages to engaging smaller private banks  – such as attentive service and tailored solutions.

03.

Determine how much you’re ready to invest

The entry point to private banks can vary quite dramatically from one to the next – some may only require USD1 million to open an account, others may require USD10 million. Hence, it’s important that you decide how much you’d like to invest and find out from private banks what their minimum entry point is before opening an account.

04.

Be mindful of fees

Before investing your money with a private bank, it’s a good idea to invest time to understand their fee structure. Do they charge a flat fee or do you have to cough up money every time you make a transaction? Are there annual fees or hidden costs?

Going through a bank document and reading the fine print – although necessary – is tedious, so you may want to have a thorough conversation with your private banker about this. If your private bank is not transparent about fees, you know it’s time to walk away.

05.

Do your homework

If you’re reading reviews before deciding which hotel to stay in while on holiday or where to have your dinner tonight, you really should be doing the same before choosing a private bank. So – not only should you get feedback from someone who is (or has been) a client at the private bank you’re considering – you might also want to consult an expert. Our directory is comprehensive and designed to give you factual and informative opinions on brands.

In conclusion

Selecting the right private bank for you is a major undertaking and you really need to do the necessary research to avoid making a costly mistake. The right private bank for someone else may not necessarily be the best for you because different investors have different needs.

Hence, it is important to identify your needs and how much you’re ready to invest. Only then can you go about doing your due diligence and selecting a trustworthy private bank that is transparent about their fees.

The market is opaque – it’s difficult to get transparent and independent information. Ask around, use a search tool like ours. Brands and services are all different – get factual and independent guidance on which is best for you. That’s going to mean a more successful – and likely profitable – long-term management of your money.

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