UK private banking industry oversees more than £500bn in assets

But regulation and low interest rates are challenges for the wealth management sector

Britain’s private banking and wealth management industry oversees £524bn in assets, new research claims.

It also contributes £5.5bn a year to the economy – equivalent to a city the size of Brighton and Hove.

According to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) Wealth of Opportunities report, which is supported by the Wealth Management Association (WMA), investors rate the UK higher than other financial centres for private banking and wealth management services.

The survey also found that investors were much more likely to invest and do business in Britain as a result of having their assets managed by wealth managers or private bankers in the UK.

But the report also identified a number of challenges facing the sector as it attempts to retain its status as the leading place for private banking in the world. These include low interest rates and regulatory costs.

The BBA and the WMA called on the UK government not to overlook the contribution that the private banking and wealth management sector makes to the UK economy and to ensure that indiscriminate regulation does not affect the sector disproportionately.

Anthony Browne, the BBA’s chief executive, said: “Private banking and wealth management is one of our country’s hidden success stories. It is an area in which Britain is a world leader and which creates a wealth of opportunities for people right across the UK.”

Last year, the private banking and wealth management sector paid taxes of £1.2bn – equivalent to £19 for each individual living in the UK.

About the author

Sally Percy is editor of The Treasurer

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