Jeroen Rijpkema, CEO, Private Banking International at ABN AMRO, comments on how the bank is focusing its private banking efforts on Northwest Europe
Private banking is currently a fast changing industry. All over the world, private banks are making strategic decisions. Due to the changing earnings-model, increasing regulatory requirements and further digitalisation, scale becomes more and more an important factor, driving consolidation.
A further sharpening of focus for private banks becomes necessary. In 2016, we have seen many changes to this effect. And I believe this will continue to be a trend in 2017.
At ABN AMRO Private Banking, we have recently decided that – in light of these market
developments – the best way forward for our private bank would be to focus on strengthening and growing our private banking operations in Northwest Europe. Thus, on 6 December 2016, we announced the transfer of our activities in Asia and the Middle East to LGT. With a number three position in the Eurozone and a good but relatively small operation in Asia and the Middle East, we believe transferring these activities to another party is the next logical step in our refined strategy.
Focus on Northwest Europe
Our decision to focus on private banking in Northwest Europe will allow us to redirect resources and means to accelerate optimisation and digitalisation of our European franchise, which will benefit our clients and strengthen our base for further growth. In our efforts to become the best private bank in Northwest Europe for our clients, we will continue to modernize our private banking activities by adding digital capabilities.
For instance, in 2017, we will launch a new digital platform for our clients in Germany and France. This gives our clients the opportunity to receive alerts, relevant portfolio information and market insights. In addition, direct chat will be possible between clients and their relationship manager. This fits in our multichannel philosophy which is another trend in private banking. It enables clients to use our services however, whenever and wherever it suits them. Supporting them in their financial life: anytime, anywhere.
Last but not least, sustainability and sustainable investing is becoming mainstream. Contributing to a better world and a nice return can go hand in hand. At ABN AMRO sustainable investments increased to EUR 8.1 billion at 30 September 2016 and I expect this to grow in 2017 as well.