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January 13, 2022

Standard Chartered considers wealth management unit in China

By Johney Amala

Standard Chartered is weighing an independent wealth management unit in China as part of its plans to expand its presence in the country’s evolving wealth management space, reported Bloomberg Quint.

The British banking major aims to sell mutual funds to Chinese retail investors through the wealth unit.

The move, if realised, would make the firm the first foreign lender to fully own a wealth management entity in China.

It hired a consulting firm last year to study the feasibility of the plan, which is currently under management review, unidentified people with knowledge of the matter divulged to the news agency.

Standard Chartered representatives did not comment on the news.

In October 2020, Standard Chartered applied for a brokerage licence in China as part of a strategy to further grow its onshore business by acquiring new licences.

Another British fund managerthat eyeing an entry into China’s wealth management space is  abrdn.

Currently, abrdn is on the look out for a partner, Reuters reported citing abrdn chairman Douglas Flint.

Flint told the news agency: “Foreign majority ownership partnerships with Chinese institutions is the way that many firms are going in. That’s certainly something that we will look very carefully at.”

abrdn was one among the first group of overseas fund managers to set up a completely-owned investment management unit in China in 2016. The firm also owns a 50% stake in a local insurance unit.

According to Flint, abrdn is currently looking at additional revenue streams away from its heavy dependency on traditional asset management that limits its services to specific institutions.

In 2020, Amundi joined forces with Bank of China to design and offer wealth management products to mainland investors.

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