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Philippines’ Union Bank launches private banking arm

The bank intends to use its strategic alliance with Lombard Odier to try and grow AUM by 25% per annum.

Manila-based Union Bank of the Philippines has launched a private banking arm that aims to serve ultra high net worth (UHNW) families and UHNW individuals, according to a statement from the firm.

“Our mission is to help [our clients] grow, preserve and co-manage their wealth. We aim to be part of their journey in transferring this wealth as a legacy to their next generation,” Arlene Joan Tanjuaqio-Agustin, head of private banking, said in the statement.

Union Bank, which is one of the 10 largest banks in the Philippines, will now compete with other domestic banks that have private banking and wealth management businesses, including Banco De Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

The new private banking arm will leverage on the bank’s strategic relationship with Lombard Odier, which was established in 2016. Union Bank Private Banking will combine its local expertise with Lombard Odier’s global investment and wealth management capabilities to cater the needs of the Filipino wealthy, the statement said.

“Union Bank’s strategic alliance with Lombard Odier gives the bank’s private banking group the edge in terms of access to global assets, innovative solutions and expertise in wealth management,” Edwin Bautista, president and CEO of Union Bank, said.

AUM growth

The private banking arm will be targeting wealthy individuals and families with a net worth of at least Ps 100m ($1.9m), according to local media reports.

The bank already has a trust business, which offers investment products to domestic investors and manages around Ps 40-50bn in client assets, according to local publication GMA News Online. With its dedicated private banking business, Union Bank believes that it will be able to grow AUM by 25% annually, according to a separate report by Business Mirror.

The new private banking arm also plans to include online wealth and investment management services, according to the statement. Clients will be able to view and manage their investment portfolios and receive regular updates.

Union Bank’s move comes at a time when the number of UHNWIs in the Philippines with at least $30m in personal assets is expected to grow by 38% to 296 by 2023, according to a Knight Frank report.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.