Credit Suisse gets license for wealth management business in Philippines

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch in Winterthur, Switzerland November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.S said on Thursday it has received regulatory approval to launch its wealth management business in the Philippines, allowing the Swiss bank to tap the growing onshore wealth in the Southeast Asian country.

Credit Suisse has received a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission and approval from the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, to set up a representative office for its wealth management business, it said in a statement.

Other global private banking majors are also tapping Southeast Asian wealth through an onshore presence. Switzerland’s Julius Baer BAER.S said last month it was forming a joint venture in Thailand.

Total household wealth in the Philippines grew by 10.7 percent a year since 2000 to reach $662 billion in 2017, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report 2017.

The number of ultra-high net worth individuals with more than $50 million in net wealth grew 13 percent over the same period to over 400, the report said, adding this is likely to expand by more than 10 percent a year in the next five years.

In the Philippines, Credit Suisse’s existing services include advisory on capital raising, liability management, M&A, and structured finance. In 2011, it set up an onshore brokerage in the country covering equity research, sales, and trading.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman