RBC Wealth Management Says It "Remains Committed" To Asia Following Sale Speculation

Royal Bank of Canada has hit back at media claims that it is contemplating selling its Asian wealth management business, saying it “remains committed to the region”.

Reuters reported that Canada's largest lender had put its Asian wealth arm under review, which could lead to a sale of the unit. The news service anonymously cited four people familiar with the matter.

In recent years, numerous Western firms have withdrawn from Asia's private banking sphere, hurt by pressure to reduce costs closer to home, slow growth and swelling compliance costs.

Most recently, the Netherlands' biggest bank, ABN Amro, agreed in December last year to sell off its private banking operations in Asia and the Middle East, which has $20 billion in assets, to Liechtenstein-headquartered LGT.

The review of RBC's Asian wealth business was sparked because the bank's global head of wealth management feels the Asian unit, which has less than $10 billion in assets, lacks the scale to generate adequate profit, Reuters reported.

However, when contacted by this publication for comment, the Toronto-headquartered bank said it is dedicated to the Asia region.

“We don't comment on rumours or speculation but we serve an important high net worth and ultra-high net worth client base out of Singapore and Hong Kong and remain committed to the region,” the bank said last week in a emailed statement.


Nick Kalikajaros 2017