Private banks in Spain are gaining market
share by poaching their rivals’ clients left dissatisfied by
poor service during the financial crisis.

“Spain is a mature market like other European
countries. But there is a fantastic opportunity to expand here via
the acquisition of market share,” said Luis Ojeda, the head of
Deutsche Bank’s Private Wealth Management (PWM) unit in Spain.

“Our revenues have grown by almost 14%. With
the crisis, wealth is not growing, but we are expanding our market
share by getting business from our rivals,” Ojeda told PBI
in an interview for September’s edition.

 “We’ve been poaching clients from our
rivals in a way that we had never been able to do before,” said
Ramon de la Riva, head of private banking at Banco Sabadell.


Spain at ‘unique’ moment

De La Riva said clients now expect a much
closer relationship with their banks. “They don’t want that their
relationship with their private bankers to be restricted to the
moment when a product sale is pitched,” he said. “Clients are
demanding information and constant monitoring.”

Many private banking operations have been
harmed by the crisis. Banif and Santander Banca Privada have had to
compensate clients whose assets had been invested in products
linked to the Madoff scam, while Bankinter has seen its private
banking unit suffer with the repercussions of the sale of Lehman
Brothers-linked products to their clients.

“Private banking is going through a unique moment in Spain,”
says De La Riva. “There is business to be earned, and our big
rivals are doing particularly well. This is the time to draw new
clients and to make the business grow.”