Barclays sets sights on Asia with wealth management expansion

Barclays has unveiled plans for a significant expansion of its wealth management operations in Asia, with a particular focus on India and Singapore.

The move comes as the bank aims to capitalise on the region's burgeoning population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

Nitin Singh, head of Barclays' wealth business for Asia, told Bloomberg News that the bank intends to quadruple its private banking assets in the region by the end of 2028. To achieve this ambitious goal, Barclays plans to triple its wealth management team in India and Singapore.

"We have significant growth ambitions for the business, and a large amount of growth we are seeing happen globally is happening in Asia," Singh said in an interview.

The expansion strategy aligns with projections for substantial wealth growth in the region, particularly in India. The number of super-wealthy individuals in India, with assets exceeding $30 million, is expected to increase by 50 per cent in the five years through 2028, according to a recent report from global consultancy Knight Frank.

Barclays' move mirrors similar efforts by competitors such as UBS Group and Julius Baer Group, who are also bolstering their presence in Asia's wealth management sector. The London-based bank, which has served India's affluent since 2008, currently manages approximately £183 billion in customer deposits, lending and invested assets across its wealth businesses globally, with Asia accounting for a high-teens percentage share.

As part of its expansion, Barclays has announced the appointment of Hussain Selani as head of India investments and for Indians abroad. The bank is also investing heavily in Singapore, having re-entered the city-state's wealth management market three years ago after a previous exit in 2016.

With this strategic push, Barclays aims to solidify its position in Asia's rapidly growing wealth management landscape, tapping into the region's economic dynamism and rising prosperity.

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