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June 13, 2014updated 09 Jun 2016 4:01pm

No appy endings with mobile wealth management

By Matthew Hardeman

Wealth managers aren’t keeping up with technology and clients aren’t getting the most from banking apps that their banks can, or should be, offering, a new report says.

Swiss firm MyPrivateBanking says although many banks offer mobile apps, few are equipped with more advanced communication and investment features. The majority of wealth management firms still offer clients mobile interfaces with basic, limited functionality and – more often than not – they also lack quality customer support. The study evaluated the mobile offerings of thirty leading international wealth managers globally.

‘Clients demand that banks personalise their offers, are accessible anytime and anywhere and give them the tools they need to manage their finances successfully. All of this is centred around mobile apps as the main hub for an increasingly mobile lifestyle,’ says Steffen Binder, research director at MyPrivateBanking.

‘However, our research shows that most wealth managers are not yet focusing on integrating mobile apps seamlessly with their other client touch points such as advisors, desktop, internet, social media, branches and telephone.’

A number of banks are leading the way. DBS, Citi Private Bank, BNP Paribas, Northern Trust and Credit Suisse were found to offer the best mobile apps for private clients. These banks and a number of others from the firm’s top ten have made efforts to re-imagine their digital footprint, integrating modern mobile solutions into their every-day relationships with HNW clients. But it is still true that mobile apps remain merely supplementary for the bulk of wealth managers, according to the company.

At the top of MyPrivateBanking Research’s ranking is Singapore-based bank DBS with an overall score of 55 points out of a maximum of 70, followed by Citi Private Bank with 54 points and BNP Paribas and Northern Trust who share the third highest score with ‘very different’ app offerings, each scoring 53 points. The study notes that Citi’s core app Citi Private Bank In View achieved the highest score on a standalone basis.

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