A survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group on their Global Wealth Report revealed that the highest density of millionaires was found in Singapore, followed by Qatar and Switzerland. This shows the increasing strength of Singapore offshore banking industry. The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait were in the fourth and fifth places, while the United States ranked sixth in this category. Some of the financial scandals involving the banks of Switzerland, including the largest bank of Switzerland, UBS, have brought to light the actions being taken by some governments to fight tax evasion practices. Investors started thinking about better investment opportunities and Singapore became a prime target for high net worth individuals.
With the global economic slowdown, financial consultants and investors feel that the Western economies are likely to take a longer time to recover. They also expect the Asian economies to perform strongly in the near future and Singapore is one of the most stable global economies at present. As such, Singapore had emerged as one of the leading offshore banking centres, leading in wealth management. The Monetary Authority of Singapore had reported that the funds managed by the Singapore offshore banking industry climbed to more than $600 billion in 2007 from around $280 billion in 2000.
The Singapore offshore banking head of private wealth business of Macquarie Bank commented in the beginning of 2009 that Singapore was growing as the fastest global centre in wealth management and private banking. He forecast that Singapore will be at par with Switzerland in global offshore wealth management and banking hubs in the future. Even though clear data is not available from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, there are enough indications that the hiring of staff in the wealth management divisions of Singapore offshore banking industry has been growing at a rapid pace, countering the job cuts in New York and London in these divisions. Estimates reveal that the staff hiring for wealth management in Singapore grew about 30% in 2008/09 and the growth rate is expected to be higher in 2010.
The stable economic environment and the efficient tax structure of Singapore offshore banking facilities are luring investors to Singapore at a growing pace. An added advantage is that high net worth individuals of other countries are eligible to obtain a legal residential permit from the Singapore authorities if they hold more than $3.6 million in any financial institution in Singapore that had been approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. This is also helping the growth of the Singapore offshore banking industry.
Healy Consultants is a leading corporate services firm that assists entrepreneurs and investors with Singapore offshore banking and company incorporation. The firm provides a range of services for Singapore offshore banking, including opening Singapore corporate bank accounts. More information on company incorporation can be found by visiting www.healyconsultants.com.