The Fight for Thai Wealth Heats Up

Thai Banks Fighting Back

Thai Banks Fighting Back recently featured a report on the push by Credit Suisse into the under served wealth market in Thailand. Local banks however are taking note, and some are pushing back.

One of Thailand’s largest banking and financial services groups Kasikornbank, which has worked with the country’s wealthiest families for decades, has started to up its services and capabilities to Thailand’s domestic ultra high net worth clients (UHNWs).

Local Knowledge

As in other parts of Asia the generations who built and accrued the wealth are now passing the baton to the next generations, which is where local knowledge and long term relationships may give the local banks an edge over the new foreign interlopers.

In the case of Kasikornbank it has started to offer continuity planning, financial, liability and risk management, asset holding structure and succession planning to around five of the country’s most wealthy families. The Bangkok headquartered bank also aims to offer services for philanthropy and family offices.

Another Swiss Connection

In a report in the Thai publication The Nation, the Head of the Kasikornbank Private Banking Business unit Jirawat Supornpaibul said the bank, the country's fourth largest, entered the wealth management business in 2008 with a focus on privilege banking. It has since expanded to capital-market investment advisory services and building the UHNWs offering.

The Thai bank has a strategic agreement with Geneva based Lombard Odier who manage global investment funds on behalf of Kasikornbank’s private clients in return for a management fee. Under a separate arrangement, Lombard Odier will also act as an exclusive offshore custodian for Kasikornbank clients, using Singapore as a booking center. Kasikornbank clients with assets under custody in Singapore also enjoy access Lombard Odier’s broad network of private banking experts.

At present, Kasikornbank private banking serves 9,600 HNWIs. In Thailand, there are a total of 23,000 HNWIs, of which 80 per cent are in Bangkok and 20 per cent in the provinces.



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