Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Most wealth management clients posted gains: poll

BELOW PRE-CRISIS LEVELS:The premier said banks should also help ordinary people manage their finances and help the government to ease its financial burden

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter, With CNA

Almost all wealth management customers reported gains last year, although a majority of them have yet to see their assets recover to the pre-global financial crisis level, a survey released yesterday showed.

The annual poll by the Chinese-language Business Today (今周刊) weekly found that 90 percent of wealth management customers reported profits from various investments, up 17 percent from a year earlier.

That still lagged behind 2007 when 98 percent of customers saw their portfolios expand, magazine president Andy Liang (梁永煌) said.

About 60 percent of respondents said their assets had not returned to pre-crisis levels because they favored a more conservative approach, with a majority purchasing fixed-income products, the study found.

The magazine did not provide numbers on returns or asset size.

The number of customers satisfied with the returns reached 67 percent last year, rising 20 percent from a year earlier, the survey showed.

However, customers value investment risk advice more than information on potential returns and said they would like banks to strengthen such service, the survey said.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) topped peers in overall rankings, while E Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) was ranked the most trustworthy lender, the survey found.

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank Co (台北富邦銀行) was considered the best performer in terms of risk control, while Far Eastern International Bank (遠東銀行) posted the fastest growth in the business, the survey found.

The magazine said it conducted the survey through questionnaires and online and received more than 1,000 valid samples.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who attended the magazine’s awards ceremony for wealth management banks, said yesterday he hoped banks would help narrow the nation’s wealth gap by managing the finances of ordinary people, as well as assisting the government in finding a solution to its financial burden.

“Currently the government has two major issues. The first is narrowing the wealth gap, and I hope banks in Taiwan can help people who are not so rich manage their wealth to achieve this goal,” the premier said.

The other is helping the government ease its financial burden, he said.

“Although Taiwan has a higher economic growth than Japan and lower inflation than China, it still has to deal with heavy liabilities and a variety of expenditures that have put the government in financial difficulty,” Wu said. “I hope banks can help solve this situation by offering their professional advice.”

Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) echoed Wu’s comments.

Liu said that banks should help “ordinary people” — referring to those whose annual income is less than NT$1.2 million (US$41,500).

She said banks should not only design financial products for the rich, but also offer discounts on management fees for ordinary people to help them handle their investments, which could help close the wealth gap.

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