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September 23, 2010updated 04 Apr 2017 3:52pm

Client-poaching heats up in Spanish shakedown

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

By Rodrigo Amaral

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.”

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