Morgan Stanley has received a wholesale banking licence in Singapore, signaling a reorganisation and expansion of its Asian private banking business.
Approval was granted on February 13 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Morgan Stanley then transferred its wealth management business from the group’s local entities to a Swiss subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
Transferring clients to that subsidiary, Morgan Stanley, will expand the services the group can provide them.
The terms of a wholesale banking license in Singapore limit the institution to one branch and allow it to accept deposits of a minimum of SGD$250,000 ($198,000).
Wealth management focus
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority granted Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business a banking licence late last year, and the same transfer of responsibilities has taken place in the territory.
Wealth management has become a key focus for Morgan Stanley as it seeks to expand its international footprint, a bank spokesman said.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney, with the former holding 51% of the brokerage and an option to buy.