HSBC is looking to increase the number of Greater China billionaire customers by three-fold over the next three years. This is set to instil confidence into an economy grappling with uncertainties caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to Bloomberg, HSBC will continue to record a demand rise for services to affluent customers despite the hit on the economy from Covid-19 that has claimed 8,809 lives and infected more than 218,000 people so far.

Of the private banking division’s $151bn in Asian client assets in 2019, nearly 75% is said to have been contributed by customers having assets of at least $30m.

HSBC Asia Pacific head of global private banking Tan Siew Meng said: “Even if 2020 is going to be impacted, the trajectory will come back.

“It will pick up again when business activity or when travel starts to resume. We are not concerned.”

A report by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that the Asia Pacific, led by China, comprised 754 billionaires having a collective fortune of $2.49trn in 2018.

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By GlobalData

Another report by Boston Consulting Group predicted that China will report the biggest annual growth among the largest private banking markets globally through 2023.

Meng calls the UHNW segment “very, very critical” for the firm.

“It is one of the key focuses that we’re putting in place to ensure that we’re going to deliver on the broader strategy,” he noted.

HSBC has undergone a massive overhaul recently, which includes the combination of its retail banking, wealth management, and global private banking units.

The bank is also set to slash 35,000 jobs.

Recently, HSBC named Noel Quinn as its permanent CEO.

The emphasis on UHNW clients aligns with Quinn’s strategy to downsize underperforming operations in Europe and the US and focus on Asia.