All articles by John Evans

John Evans

RBC joins the banks seeking to flee Switzerland

Royal Bank of Canada, one of the fastest growing banks in global wealth management of recent years, has done a sharp about-turn. It wants to exit from Switzerland and is closing some international businesses in North America along with the Caribbean, as it seeks less risky client business, writes John Evans

Wealth is corporate wealth, Standard Chartered decides

Hard-pressed Standard Chartered, which appeared at one point to be downgrading private banking as a significant revenue stream, has done a smart about-turn, putting a spectrum of wealth services from the ultra-rich to the emerging affluent individual at the centre of a strategy to generate vital new earnings

Insight: Barclays and Coutts caught in a tough bear hug of parent companies

The two biggest names in UK private banking are under pressure from their parent companies. Barclays Wealth’s downsizing has sparked an exodus of top management from the firm, raising deep questions over its future, while Coutts is undergoing a strategic review by parent RBS.

Insight: Swiss initiative offers solution to the Catch-22 of client identity disclosure

A Swiss-based network has been created to assist banks to switch clients between themselves as part of pressing need to comply with tough new regulations from the US and elsewhere to lift the veil of secrecy over the identities of clients.

Analysis: The demise of the standalone private bank

Flag-bearer names in private banking like Coutts and Barclays Wealth are being eclipsed as their parent companies reign in these wealth operations, folding them within their organisations. It seems to mark the end of the standalone private bank and the often unfettered freedoms they had in the past..John Evans reports.

Exclusive: Safra Sarasin swoops on Bank of Singapore to hire Indian client team

In one of the biggest team moves in Asian private banking of late, J. Safra Sarasin has lured a total of 12 people from Bank of Singapore to specialise in the $1 trillion Indian non-resident (NRI) sector.

Exclusive: How Coutts became queen of the private banking catwalk

After an intensive programme of upgrading, Coutts has seen a satisfying payback for its makeover- it ranks as the largest private bank in the UK, overhauling long-time rival Barclays Wealth. So, how did the fusty old biddy Coutts transform herself into a svelte supermodel? John Evans sits down with Coutts CEO, Rory Tapner, to find out more.

Tapering, budget standoff overshadow earnings

John Evans takes an in-depth look into the latest Q3 results.

Client concerns about economic dislocation sparked by the prospective withdrawal by the Federal Reserve of its quantitative easing programme as well as the House standoff in Washington over the budget overshadowed private banking earnings in the latest period.

Why the private banking party’s really over

The great global private banking expansion party has been the one everyone wanted to come to. Now the hangover, as banks increasingly count the cost of the growth of recent years, particularly in Asia. Closures and pullouts mark the new mood of sobriety. John Evans takes a look at global consolidation across the industry.

Independent asset managers on the rise in Asia

A whole new slew of independent asset managers are making their mark with clients in Asia in a trend that could prove to be a game-changing phenomenon for the wealth industry in the region.Some call these independent firms financial intermediary managers, or FIMs. They also go under the description of external asset managers. Often they are staffed up by former private bankers in a switch of sides to become gatekeepers on behalf of client portfolios. The idea is based on a concept that is well entrenched in Switzerland. Independent asset managers (IAMs) manage assets of CHF500bn ($534bn) in Switzerland, corresponding to a market share of about 14%, according to Finanzplatz Zurich, a body charged with promoting Swiss financial services