Private Banking – Legal Issues Arising from Wealth Management

Private Banking

Private banking –  embodies a specialized fiscal service catering exclusively to the elite echelons of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs). These institutions extend a gamut of financial services encompassing investment management, advisory solutions, and estate planning. While they serve as a bulwark for the preservation and augmentation of wealth, it is crucial to fathom the cryptic mechanisms through which they harvest revenues. In this discourse, we plunge into the intricate realm of how private banking institutions garner profits from their clientele and the labyrinth of legal ramifications that may ensue.

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Private Banking – The Revenue Model:

Private banking establishments employ a spectrum of fee-oriented services and investment vehicles to augment their coffers. Herein lie the stratagems by which private banks accumulate wealth from their clientele:

  1. Management Fees: Private banks levy charges on clients for the adroit stewardship of their investment portfolios. These charges are typically computed as a percentage of the assets under management (AUM) and tend to fluctuate contingent on the intricacies of the investment strategy.
  2. Performance Fees: In tandem with management fees, certain private banks may institute performance-based charges predicated on the returns they furnish to their clients. These fees typically constitute a percentage of the profits derived from investments, meticulously crafted to harmonize the interests of the bank with those of their clients.
  3. Advisory Fees: Private bankers dispense investment counsel and recommendations to clients. Clients may find themselves incurring advisory fees for these services, which can assume the guise of a fixed fee or a percentage of AUM.
  4. Transaction Fees: Private banks accrue fees through the execution of transactions on behalf of clients, spanning the acquisition and divestment of securities, real estate assets, and other holdings. The quantum of transaction fees can oscillate contingent on the intricacy and scale of the transaction.
  5. Custodial Fees: Private banks frequently extend custodial services for the preservation and administration of client assets. Custodial fees are levied for the safekeeping and meticulous management of these assets.
  6. Structured Products: Private banks fabricate and peddle structured financial products, including bonds, certificates of deposit, and structured notes. Their profit margins swell via spreads or commissions amassed from sales.
  7. Credit and Lending Services: Clients have access to a cornucopia of lending and credit services from private banks, encompassing mortgages, credit lines, and margin loans. Interest income and fees burgeon from these credit services.
  8. Alternative Investments: Private banks might open the portals to alternative investment avenues for clients, embracing hedge funds, private equity, and real estate funds. Fees are exacted for the administration and facilitation of these investments.

    Pixabay at Pexels

Private Banking – Legal Issues Arising from such services:

The pursuit of revenue channels in the realm of private banking unfurls a kaleidoscope of legal conundrums, encompassing fee opaqueness, conundrums of conflicting interests, scrutiny of suitability and due diligence, stringent regulatory compliance, unfurling the tapestry of performance disclosures, custodianship of sensitive client data, labyrinthine cross-border transactions, and the sacrosanct fiduciary obligations. For private banks, astutely navigating these legal mazes is non-negotiable, as it is quintessential in shielding their repute and engendering unwavering trust amongst their clients. Striving assiduously to adhere to extant legal and regulatory frameworks in the dynamic milieu of private banking is de rigueur.

Do consult your private wealth lawyers when investing into complex instruments/products / structured products sold by the bank as such investments can result in losses in excess of the amount placed with the private bank.

Example #1

The rich client went to the private bank, bought private banking products and lost money.  Client claimed misrepresentation which resulted in the client’s loss.  The court held that the client was an accredited investor and could afford to hire advisers to advise the client on investments but the mere fact she did not do so did not make the bank liable.

Learning lesson: If you are not investing into a fund whether issued by the bank or from a third-party financial institution but sold to you by the bank, the bank acts as an agent or broker in respect of the products to you.  In most cases, if you are unsure of what you are investing in, you as the investor or client of the private bank will bear the gain or loss from your own personal investment decisions.  Thus, when in doubt please engage your own legal advisers and financial advisers to evaluate investment products offered to you.

Example #2

A rich client went to a private bank and they recommended that she set up a trust which was run by the bank’s trustee.  Later she wanted to change bank, she realised it was very hard to move the assets from this bank as the loans were all connected to the trust and the bank.  Private banking is a very complex area to understand so if you are just treating the investment products sold to you like products that you buy from the supermarket there is a chance you may not understand what you are investing into.

In conclusion, private banking looms as an indispensable instrument for the financial elite seeking all-encompassing wealth stewardship. Acquiring an astute comprehension of the artifices private banks deploy to accrue revenues and the potential legal entanglements that may ensnare them in the process is imperative for both clients and financial institutions. By upholding transparency with finesse, adroitly mitigating conflicts of interest, and meticulously adhering to the labyrinthine web of regulatory mandates, private banks can render superlative services to their clients while adroitly skirting legal quandaries and the prying eye of regulatory oversight.  When in doubt, please seek legal and financial advice from qualified third party advisers.

Do let us know if you have any questions and we will answer them in our comments below.

Pixabay at Pexels

引言: 私人银行是一种专业的金融服务,专门面向高净值个人(HNWIs)和超高净值个人(UHNWIs)。这些机构提供一系列的金融服务,包括投资管理、咨询解决方案和财产规划。虽然它们作为财富保值和增值的重要工具,但了解它们如何从客户那里获得收入的机制至关重要。在本文中,我们将深入探讨私人银行机构如何从其客户中获取利润以及可能产生的法律问题的复杂领域。



  1. 管理费用: 私人银行向客户收取费用,以熟练管理他们的投资组合。这些费用通常按照管理资产(AUM)的百分比计算,根据投资策略的复杂性而变化。
  2. 绩效费用: 一些私人银行可能会与管理费一起收取基于为客户提供的回报而设定的绩效费用。这些费用通常是从投资利润中提取的一部分,经过精心制定,旨在协调银行与客户的利益。
  3. 咨询费用: 私人银行家向客户提供投资建议和推荐。客户可能会为这些服务支付咨询费用,这可以是固定费用或AUM的百分比。
  4. 交易费用: 私人银行通过代表客户执行交易来积累费用,包括购买和出售证券、房地产资产和其他资产。交易费用的金额可以根据交易的复杂性和规模而有所不同。
  5. 保管费用: 私人银行经常提供保管服务,用于保存和管理客户资产。他们对这些资产的保管和管理征收费用。
  6. 结构化产品: 私人银行制造和销售结构化金融产品,包括债券、存款证书和结构化票据。他们通过销售所得到的利润和佣金来增加利润。
  7. 信贷和贷款服务: 客户可以从私人银行获得各种信贷和贷款服务,包括抵押贷款、信用额度和保证金贷款。这些信贷服务产生的利息收入和费用不断增加。
  8. 另类投资: 私人银行可能向客户提供另类投资渠道,包括对冲基金、私募股权和房地产基金的投资。他们对管理和促进这些投资收取费用。



案例示例 #1 富裕客户前往私人银行,购买了产品并亏损了。客户声称受到误导,导致了客户的损失。法院裁定客户是合格投资者,并且有能力聘请顾问为其提供投资建议,但仅仅因为她没有这样做并不会使银行承担责任。 教训:如果您不是投资于银行发行或由银行销售给您的第三方金融机构发行的基金,银行在向您销售产品时充当代理或经纪人。您将承担个人投资决策的收益或损失。因此,在疑惑时,请聘请您自己的法律顾问和财务顾问来评估向您提供的投资产品。

案例示例 #2 一位富有的客户前往一家私人银行,他们建议她建立一个信托,由银行的受托人管理。后来,她想要更换银行,她发现很难将资产从这家银行转移出去,因为所有的贷款都与信托和银行相关联。




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