INVESTMENT BANKING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Can Hong Kong steal the wealth manager crown from Switzerland?

The banking secrecy capital's dominance has been on a steady decline since 2010.

Bloomberg reports that Hong Kong failed to topple the dominance held by Switzerland in managing the assets of the world’s ultra wealthy although the Asian financial centre is fast catching up to Alpine country following a crackdown on banking secrecy, according to Deloitte LLP.

New net asset growth fell 6% YoY in 2017 with traditional contenders like the US, UK and Hong Kong registering positive growth.

Switzerland managed about US$1.8t in offshore wealth in 2017, retaining its position ahead of the U.K although the gap between the countries including Hong Kong is narrowing as the country’s dominance has been waning since 2010.

A separate report ranks Hong Kong as the world’s fourth most secretive financial center after accounting for 4.17% of the global market for offshore financial services, roughly on par with tax haven Panama.

Hong Kong’s offshore wealth sector is expected to grow 9.3% annually by 2020 to post the fastest growth rate for any major financial centre alongside regional rival Singapore. In fact, the two Asian tigers are projected to attract more overseas wealth at twice the rate of Switzerland. 

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