KBank to focus on family wealth planning

KBank to focus on family wealth planning

Lender expects more demand for services

KBank Private Banking, the wealth management service under Kasikornbank (KBank), plans to focus on family wealth planning next year, in line with higher demand for the service as the landscape for family wealth changes.

KBank, the country's second-largest lender by total assets, was the first bank in Thailand to offer family wealth planning five years ago.

The service mainly covers tax management, family wealth transfers and family office services.

The bank has 790 families as family wealth planning customers.

Assets under management (AUM) and business and land value under the family wealth service tally 180 billion baht, said Jirawat Supornpaibul, head of private banking business (K-Private Banking).

Demand for the service has been rising as the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is expected to be implemented around the third quarter next year, a collaboration between US and Thai regulatory agencies, said Mr Jirawat.

To comply with the FATCA rule, wealthy Thais who own assets overseas will have to transfer some assets to Thailand and pay more attention to tax management.

A lot of clients have consulted with the bank on the issue, he said.

In addition, higher global economic uncertainties, surging inflation rates, the increasing volatility of the currency and capital markets, and heightened concerns over a projected recession in developed economies have created apprehension among wealthy customers and increased demand for family wealth planning services, said Mr Jirawat.

To qualify for K-Private Banking services, customers must have assets of at least 50 million baht.

K-Private Banking has total AUM of 900 billon baht and 12,000 customers.

The AUM of 180 billion baht in the family wealth planning service represents 20% of the unit's total AUM. The bank expects the ratio to increase to 30-40% in 2023.

With growing demand for family wealth planning services, especially in the post-pandemic era, the bank expects AUM for this service to increase to 300 billion baht next year and boost the total AUM for K-Private Banking to more than 1 trillion baht, he said.

K-Private Banking had a soft launch for its family office service last year and received a positive response from wealthy customers, particularly for land management, as well as documentary and legal document management, said Mr Jirawat.

He said there are 200,000 to 300,000 Thais who qualify to be K-Private Banking clients, so the business has an opportunity to expand the customer base for both private banking and family wealth planning services.

In addition to helping wealthy customers with asset maintenance, the bank also aims to help them create returns through asset investment and portfolio investment, Mr Jirawat said.

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