2008-07-25 12:44:17 GMT 2008-07-25 20:44:17 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Beijing, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lenders should tailor their private banking services to meet local clients' needs, experts stated, noting the country's institutions should not simply follow the Western mode.
"Chinese lenders' private banking service is at the very beginning, and the client groups' acknowledgement towards relevant business is immature," said Guo Tianyong, a Central University of Finance and Economy scholar.
He said banks should conduct services with "Chinese characteristics" by looking into clients' needs at first and introduce an advanced mechanism from their Western counterparts.
In recent years, more Chinese lenders have expanded their business by moving into private banking. The Construction and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and the Bank of Communications are just a few among the many to have done so.
The latest, China Construction Bank (CCB), started to provide private banking earlier this month.
Markets analysts attributed the boom in private banking to the country's rapid economic development, surging private property income and a growing group of wealthy people.
CCB statistics show its number of high-income clients whose assets were over 3 million yuan (about 440,000 U.S. dollars) had doubled by April from a year earlier.
Western banks provide clients with various private services, specifically investments, real estate, trusts and fiduciary, wealth management and consultation, among others. Chinese lenders should start their private banking services with property management, and then move into property protection and other services step by step, according to analysts.
Zhang Qiulin, general manager of private banking department of China CITIC Bank, said private banking should provide service in accordance with the national condition.
In China, wealthy people are the target of private banking business, which includes wealth management, consulting and charitable trustee.
The number of households with more than 1 million U.S. dollars in liquid assets in the country stood at 310,000 by 2006. The number was predicted to double by 2011, according to a Boston Consulting Group report.