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6 axes to meet customers' needs in the private banking industry

The Wealth Management Industry faced real shift in its business model, during the last years, resulting from the digitalization of the economy and due to the pressure from international regulators : GDPR, MIFID, AML BASLE etc). This massive transformation of our environment has had an impact on customers' requirements. This was a real opportunity to carry out a global survey about this topic.

Therefore, ThoughtLab, an initiative of Deloitte, realized a global survey about the Wealth and Asset Management service called : "Wealth and asset management 4.0 : How digital, social and regulatory shifts will transform the industry".

This report is based on a global survey on 2.325 investors across the world together with 500 wealth and asset management firms.

Since I'm an active blogger, this is probably the most complete study I read about the needs of our customers.

The authors of the report observed six megatrends that will probably impact our strategy in the coming years :

1. Shift to digital but still a need of human relationships :

This is not a surprise; our customers are more and more equipped in digital devices which resulted in changing their communication habits. The study revealed that 40 % of investors consider digital as a priority. And for 89 % of High Net Worth Individuals, mobile apps are their preferred engagement channel (the same figure for the baby-boomer generation).

Private Banking Engagement channels - 4Investors
Source : Deloitte - ThoughtLab - Engagement Channels

Thanks to the ones who contributed to this research, we understand that for our customers it's not sufficient to develop digital services. In addition, there is a real need for private investors to meet their relationship managers. The study revealed that for complex operations, like investment advice, people are looking for an interaction with a specialist (60 % through a virtual call) and in the future +/- 50 % of the responders will still need a face-to -ace meeting in "the real world".

2. Investing with purpose :

For more than one third of investors, over the next two years, they will look for ESG and Social impact investments. This is also what 40 % private bankers and investment advisors observed through discussions with customers.

Social Impact - ESG - SRI - 4Investors

3. Democratization :

Customers are asking to have access to some specific products, like alternative investments or IPO's. Which is currently provided to professional investors or UHNWI* customers (In Belgium : more than 5 MM EUR Assets)

In my day-to-day job, I also observed a trend which has been discovered through Deloitte's survey, which is the need for our customers (53%) to have access to a financial planning service. This is, following my experience, linked to the need of our clients to build a strong retirement plan.

4. Higher standards :

Close to 50 % of investors are looking for trust. Which means that they are looking for a partner that will protect their data (GDPR rules in Europe) or provide cybersecurity. It's also an important topic for wealth managers on how to integrate regulatory and tax changes in the discussions with their customers and prospects.

5. Transparent, lower fees :

There is still a lot of work to do to inform customers about their provider's fees because only 36% of them are happy with their fee structure.

6. Switching providers :

44 % of investors plan to move their accounts to another wealth manager. This is an opportunity for business developers like me but also a challenge for my colleague private bankers to focus their attention on a smart retention strategy...Due to my experience, most of the time, this could be managed through regular contact with our customers.

Switching providers - 4Investors

Conclusion : Our industry is facing a radical move, this means an adaptation to our customer needs and adapt our procedure to our regulators' requests. It's challenging, but when there are needs, there are also solutions to provide.

As a private banker focused on customer acquisition, I see a lot of opportunities revealed by this survey. Through meetings with prospects and customers I can observe a real need for regular active contacts. People are ready to pay for a service that they concretely receive which is not based on promises.

For more information :

e-mail :

phone : +32 470 36 96 36

Thanks to Deloitte - ThoughtLab for this very deep study on our industry needs. Special thanks to Paparjam and Alex Barras (I discoverd the survey through their publication)

Sources :

  • *UHNWI : Ultra High Net Worth Individuals

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