The world’s largest migrant population, the 32 million members of the Indian diaspora, have grown in both affluence and influence around the globe. Despite their geographic diversity, global Indians have collectively become an important wealth market that share a need for sophisticated financial solutions.
To this end, HSBC—with an unparalleled global footprint and a comprehensive suite of financial services—is ideally suited to service the wealth-related needs of this group.
“HSBC is in a great position to serve ultra-high net worth (UHNW) global Indians because we are present in 63 countries and territories, more importantly, in all the markets that are of primary interest to this group of clients,” says Philip Kunz, Head of Global Private Banking, South Asia, HSBC.
“They are financially knowledgeable and tech savvy, and by virtue of many having studied or worked overseas, they are also extremely mobile and global in their way of thinking. As such, they have high expectations from the bankers who support them,” explains Kunz. “At HSBC, our relationship managers, as well as investment and product specialists, have access to both local and global expertise and solutions that cater to this very sophisticated group.”
HSBC Global Private Banking is also able to deliver the digital wealth tools and touchpoints that global Indian clients expect and it plans to invest around US$200 million over a four-year period to enhance its core banking and digital platforms in Asia.
Given their international perspective, UHNW Indians abroad seek out investments that span geographies and asset classes; from real estate in the U.S. to private equity in Southeast Asia.
According to research by HSBC, some 80% of global Indians—especially those in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK—are making investments in India. The study also found that 59% are planning to increase their levels of investment in India in the next three years, while the same proportion plan to increase investments in their country of residence.
While equities (47%) and property (46%) are the most common asset classes in their portfolios, a significant proportion are also investing in local businesses where they live, particularly in Australia, Hong Kong, the UAE and the UK.
Furthermore, global Indians are planning to make a range of sustainable investments in both India and their country of residence in the next two years. Many have also invested in private equity, especially in sectors such as technology.
The Singapore Connection
HSBC continues to scale up its capabilities in Singapore across wealth solutions and digital tools to better serve global Indians based in ASEAN, India and the UAE. Singapore and India enjoy enduring historical ties and relatively close geographic proximity, while financial links are also common. Indeed, almost nine in ten global Indians have investments in Singapore, according to HSBC.
“Studies have shown that around 23,000 millionaires have left India since 2014. In recent years, this group has started to gravitate towards Singapore because of the stable environment, strong rule of law and the government’s support of the financial services industry,” says Kunz.
The potential of the Indian diaspora prompted HSBC to be organised in a way where they can seamlessly support the wealth needs of their clients and their families as well as their businesses, regardless of where they are located.
Singapore is also a highly desirable family office locale for UHNW Indians given its sound financial regulations, strong rule of law, as well as political and economic stability.
Given the strategic importance of Singapore as an international wealth and business hub for ASEAN, HSBC has established a strong coverage team led by Anthony Hingley, Managing Director—Market Coordinator, Global India, MENA and Europe, to serve global Indian clients in this region. Based in Singapore, Hingley was appointed at the start of the year to help HSBC Global Private Banking marshal the resources of the group to meet their diverse needs.
“Anthony’s role is to ensure that we offer a cohesive and consistent delivery of our proposition and solutions to global Indian clients, regardless of where they are based, be it in Indonesia or Singapore,” says Kunz.
Meeting a Spectrum of Needs
By tapping into HSBC’s breadth of expertise, HSBC Global Private Banking can satisfy the increasingly diverse and complex demands of the global Indian client. “Whether it’s opening an additional account or getting a credit card or supporting clients’ philanthropy and legacy planning needs, we can support them given our universal banking model,” says Kunz.
Indeed, HSBC has an established retail, commercial and investment banking presence in most of the markets where global Indians are based.
“Besides being able to respond to all the variances and needs that may arise, it is particularly important to our clients that they are dealing with a brand that they can trust, and HSBC has been in most of these markets for over 100 years,” explains Kunz.
He notes that legacy planning and philanthropy are two important aspects of the global Indians wealth journey. However, these topics can be complicated as many in the Indian diaspora are made up of large families spread across many countries.
To help clients navigate this complex landscape, HSBC can tap into its experienced trustee company, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2021. HSBC Trustee offers clients global coverage, with trust companies conveniently located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jersey and in Delaware and New York.
HSBC Trustee has the experience and expertise to not only provide befitting solutions, but also to ensure wealth structures remain compliant amid constant regulatory changes across jurisdictions along with trusted advisors.
More global Indian families are also keen to incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors into their investment, philanthropy and legacy planning decisions, Kunz notes.
“Their investment portfolio is becoming greener, mostly driven by the younger generation, as they want to invest their family fortunes in sustainable companies and assets. Besides being able to tap into HSBC Asset Management, given we operate on an open architecture platform, our clients have access to the best-in-class sustainable investments available in the market,” he says.
The global Indian business is an increasingly important piece in HSBC’s broader ambition to be Asia’s leading wealth manager by significantly growing its assets under management. Says Kunz: “We have the ambition to become the leader in Asia by connecting our clients to global opportunities across the wealth continuum. Regardless of where they are, we can help them fulfill not just their financial ambitions, but also realise their dreams and aspirations.”
The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.