DBS to double staff in Dubai to tap wealth of Middle East businessmen and rich NRIs

In order to capitalise on the growing wealth of Middle East businessmen and rich Non-Resident Indians, DBS plans to almost triple its revenue in the region. For this, it will also double its Dubai banking staff by 2023.

Southeast Asia’s largest bank plans to expand its wealth management operations in the region tapping prospective clients including wealthy Middle East business people, family offices and NRIs.

DBS said it planned to double the headcount, which now stands at more than 20, for its private bank in Dubai by 2023.

DBS plans to expand its wealth management operations in the Middle East region. Photo courtesy: DBS
DBS plans to expand its wealth management operations in the Middle East region. Photo courtesy: DBS

Revealing the reason for expanding the service in this region and increasing the headcount, Tan Su Shan, DBS’s group head of wealth management and consumer banking said, “This region is not yet a big part of our wealth management revenues today as we are an Asian bank but it is the fastest growing part. It's been growing at double digits."

“Wealth management contributes about SGD2.6 billion to DBS revenues,” she said.

The recent Knight Frank 2018 Wealth report has highlighted that the number of people in the Middle East with individual assets of more than USD500 million is projected to grow by 28 per cent to 500 in 2022.

The other pertinent trend in recent time is the shift of the banks from European countries and the United States towards Asia as highlighted by top executives of the bank.

Rudiger von Wedel, managing director and head of international at DBS Private Bank, said, “In the past, clients in the region would focus investments towards Switzerland, the United States and Britain.”

“The whole focus of the region is shifting towards the East. What I have seen since 2012-2013 is more and more shift towards Asia,” he added.

Other reputed banks including Citibank has also planned to expand in the Middle East region. Citibank aims to lift its wealth management customer base by 18 per cent in the United Arab Emirates in 2018 and 24 per cent in 2019.

Citi's wealth management business would see a 21 per cent growth in revenue in 2018 in the UAE, said Venkat Mahadevan, retail bank head for the Middle East at Citibank.

CtoI News Desk
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