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Priority and Private Banking: Everything You Should Know

Priority banks and private banks have long been synonymous with exclusivity, luxury, and personalized financial services.

These institutions cater to high-net-worth individuals, offering tailored solutions, specialized expertise, and a range of wealth management services. However, as the financial industry continues to evolve, so do the preferences and demands of discerning clients.

Today, a new wave of thought is sweeping through the banking sector, challenging the traditional notions of private banking and advocating for a more independent and cost-efficient approach. This paradigm shift is driven by the growing awareness among clients about the need for transparency, accessibility, and value for money.

While private banks continue to hold a prominent position within the financial sector, the emergence of new players has heralded a fresh era of banking.

These alternatives prioritize independence, cost-efficiency, and client-centricity, challenging the status quo and redefining the very notion of what constitutes the “best” banking experience.

We have talked extensively about private and priority banks before. In this article, we will delve deep into the world of priority and private banks, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and the factors that have propelled them to the top echelons of the finance industry.

However, we will also shed light on the alternative banking options that are gaining traction and providing clients with a more transparent, accessible, and cost-effective banking experience.

In this article, you will learn everything you should know about priority and private banking and how it can be integrated into your overall financial security.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, or get a second citizenship , you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use these contact options.

It is my belief that there are better options than the banks for investing.

A primer: What are priority and private banks?

Priority and private banking services play a pivotal role in catering to the needs of high-net-worth individuals and businesses. But what exactly sets them apart from traditional banking?

Priority and private banking are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. While both cater to affluent clients, there are distinct differences between the two.

Priority banking is a step up from traditional banking services, offering personalized attention and additional benefits to clients who meet certain criteria. On the other hand, private banking serves ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families, providing a more exclusive and tailored experience.

Priority banking typically requires clients to maintain a certain minimum balance in their accounts. In exchange, they enjoy a range of benefits such as dedicated relationship managers, priority service at branches, preferential interest rates, and access to exclusive events.

Private banking, on the other hand, is more exclusive and caters to clients with significantly higher wealth.

Private banking clients have access to a dedicated team of professionals who offer comprehensive wealth management services, including investment advisory, estate planning, and tax optimization.

One of the key benefits of priority and private banking is the personalized attention and tailored financial solutions they offer.

Unlike traditional banks, which often provide a one-size-fits-all approach, priority and private banks take the time to understand their clients’ unique goals and needs.

This allows them to provide customized investment strategies, wealth management advice, and financial planning services that align with the clients’ objectives.

Another advantage of priority and private banking is the access to a range of supplementary benefits. Priority banking clients often enjoy perks such as luxury concierge services, preferential rates on loans and credit cards, and exclusive invitations to events.

Private banking clients, on the other hand, have access to a wider array of exclusive offerings, including specialized investment opportunities, access to private equity and hedge funds, and dedicated wealth planning services.

How do you qualify for priority or private banking services?

To qualify for priority banking services, clients typically need to meet certain financial criteria, such as maintaining a minimum average monthly balance in their accounts or having a certain level of investable assets.

The exact requirements vary from bank to bank, but they are generally designed to ensure that priority banking services are reserved for affluent clients who can benefit from the additional perks and services.

Private banking, on the other hand, is typically reserved for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. The threshold for private banking services is significantly higher, with some banks requiring clients to have millions or even billions of dollars in investable assets.

Private banking relationships are built on trust and long-term commitment, as the services provided are highly personalized and require a deeper understanding of the client’s financial situation and goals.

What services are offered by priority and private banks?

Priority and private banks offer a wide range of services beyond the traditional banking offerings. Priority banking clients often have access to dedicated relationship managers who provide personalized financial advice and assistance.

These relationship managers act as a single point of contact, helping clients navigate through various financial products and services offered by the bank. They assist with investment decisions, provide insights on market trends, and help clients achieve their financial goals.

Private banking takes the concept of personalized service to a whole new level. Private banks provide a comprehensive suite of wealth management services, including investment advisory, estate planning, tax optimization, and risk management.

Private banking clients have access to a team of experts who work closely with them to develop a customized wealth management strategy that takes into account their financial goals, risk tolerance, and unique circumstances.

The services provided by private banks are highly sophisticated and cater to the complex needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families.

What investment products and strategies are available through priority and private banking?

Priority and private banking clients have access to a wide range of investment products and strategies. These can include traditional investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as alternative investments like real estate, private equity, and hedge funds.

The investment products and strategies offered by priority and private banks are often designed to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns while aligning with the clients’ risk tolerance and investment objectives.

High-net-worth individuals are a private bank's primary clientele. People in this category often have substantial financial assets that necessitate expert management.
High-net-worth individuals are a private bank’s primary clientele. People in this category often have substantial financial assets that necessitate expert management.

In priority banking, clients typically have access to a range of investment advisory services. Relationship managers work closely with clients to understand their investment goals and risk appetite, and then recommend suitable investment products and strategies.

Priority banking clients also have access to research reports and market insights, helping them make informed investment decisions.

Private banking clients, on the other hand, benefit from a more comprehensive and tailored approach to investment management. Private banks often have dedicated investment teams that design customized portfolios based on the client’s financial goals, risk profile, and time horizon.

These portfolios are actively managed and regularly reviewed to ensure they remain aligned with the client’s objectives.

What are the risks and considerations in priority and private banking?

While priority and private banking offer numerous benefits, it’s important to be aware of the risks and considerations involved. One of the main risks is the potential for higher fees and charges.

Priority and private banking services often come with higher costs compared to traditional banking. It’s essential to carefully review the fee structure and understand the charges associated with various services before committing to a priority or private banking relationship.

Fees and charges in priority and private banking can vary significantly from bank to bank. It’s important to understand the fee structure and be aware of any additional charges that may apply.

Common fees in priority and private banking include account maintenance fees, transaction fees, annual management fees for investment products, and performance-based fees for certain services.

It’s essential to carefully review the fee schedule and ensure that it aligns with your financial goals and expectations.

Another consideration is the potential for conflicts of interest. Priority and private banks often offer their own investment products, which may not always be the best option for the client.

It’s important to ensure that the bank acts in the client’s best interest and provides unbiased advice. Transparency and open communication are key to maintaining a healthy client-bank relationship.

How do you choose the right priority or private bank for your needs?

Choosing the right priority or private bank is a crucial decision that can have a significant impact on your financial future.

When evaluating different banks, it’s important to consider factors such as the bank’s reputation, track record, range of services, and expertise in wealth management.

It’s also essential to assess the bank’s commitment to client service, as a strong and responsive relationship with your bank is crucial for a successful partnership.

Additionally, it’s advisable to request and review the bank’s fee structure and charges to ensure they are transparent and align with your expectations. Meeting with the bank’s relationship managers and investment professionals can also provide valuable insights into the bank’s approach and expertise.

What is a private banker? What does a private banker do?

A private banker’s primary function is to oversee the clients’ financial affairs. They cultivate long-term partnerships with corporations and wealthy individuals by learning about their unique needs and tailoring their services accordingly.

Among the many services they provide, private bankers manage client accounts, extend credit, and mediate deals.

They are also vital in the realm of investment advice, where they assess client needs, monitor market developments, and make recommendations. To further secure their customers’ financial security, private bankers frequently work with other experts, including legal and tax counsel.

Private bankers are experts at evaluating risk and managing customers’ portfolios to get maximum returns. In this way, they are able to make well-informed investing selections based on current market trends and economic statistics.

High-net-worth clients seeking individualized banking services turn to them for their experience in wealth preservation and asset management.

What is the difference between a private banker and a financial advisor?

You may be wondering what the difference is between a private banker and a financial advisor, we discuss at length here.

Essentially, anyone, regardless of their portfolio size, can benefit from working with a financial advisor.

At their core, financial advisors are experts in developing personalized plans for their clients’ financial futures. Their breadth of understanding in the financial world makes them flexible specialists.

Financial advisors are expected to multitask. They evaluate a client’s financial situation and make suggestions about how to improve it by suggesting investments, retirement strategies, and insurance policies.

Their top priority is making sure their clients achieve all of their financial goals, from amassing wealth to safeguarding possessions.

Financial advisors and private banks both offer advice on managing money, but they focus on distinct clientele.

A private banker is someone who provides high-end banking and investment services to a select clientele. These experts frequently interact with the wealthy to secure special banking services and goods for them.

However, financial counselors look at things from a larger perspective. Unlike some competitors, they are not limited to the products of any one bank. They are objective in their recommendations, so you know you are getting the best service possible.

In many countries, financial advisors are subject to the oversight of a different set of authorities than in others.

Wealth managers take a strategic and comprehensive approach to their clients' financial situations in order to better position them for the future.
Wealth managers take a strategic and comprehensive approach to their clients’ financial situations in order to better position them for the future.

In the United States, for instance, they might be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with state authorities. Many people in this field also want to improve their standing by earning professional credentials like the CFP or CFA.

It is critical to be aware of the fees that financial advisors charge for their services. Some firms are fee-only, meaning they exclusively collect money from their clients.

Some people may receive compensation for the products they suggest. The need for transparency is highlighted by the wide range of fees associated with employing a financial advisor.

In order to make educated choices, it is crucial to understand how a private banker differs from a financial advisor. Although they both work in the financial sector, their clients, services, fees, and methods of providing advice are very different.

Clientele Focus

High-net-worth individuals are a private banker’s primary clientele. People in this category often have substantial financial assets that necessitate expert management.

A private banker provides a comprehensive suite of services to their high-net-worth clients so that their entire financial picture is taken care of.

In addition, wealthy people tend to be the target market for private banking services because of their exclusivity and sophistication.

A financial advisor’s clientele is more diverse than that of a private banker. Financial advisors guide a wide range of clients, from those just starting out to those planning for retirement.

They make sure that people from all socioeconomic backgrounds can take advantage of their services.

independent bankerHowever, financial advisors differentiate themselves by providing objective guidance. Their advice is typically not limited to a single bank or type of financial service.

Scope of Provided Services

A private banker offers clients an array of high-end financial services. They are particularly concerned with the safety and long-term growth of their clients’ wealth.

A private banker is a financial advisor who specializes in providing investment advice, credit services, and financial planning to high-net-worth clients.

However, financial advisors differentiate themselves by providing objective guidance. Their advice is typically not limited to a single bank or type of financial service.

A financial advisor offers a broader range of services and products, from mutual funds to retirement strategies to insurance, to give their clients more flexibility in meeting their own financial goals.

Fees and Pricing Model

A private banker’s fees are often based on flat rates for banking services. These costs typically cover the level of privacy, care, and customization afforded to each client.

Due to the affluence of their clientele, the costs associated with providing these services can be rather substantial.

There is a wide range of pricing options available from financial advisors. One common business model for financial advisors is to charge a flat fee for their services.

Because of this selection, customers can pick a plan that works best with their lifestyle and budget.

Neutrality and objectivity

A private banker’s abundance of knowledge may be skewed toward the bank’s own services, however. This bank-centric strategy keeps the bank’s products and services at the center of the solutions offered to customers.

Being unaffiliated with any particular organization allows financial counselors to provide advice without bias.

Their recommendations are grounded in a thorough examination of the market and the leading goods on the market, guaranteeing that customers receive solutions that are tailored to their specific requirements.

What is a wealth manager?

Wealth managers take a broader view of financial management than private bankers, who specialize on banking services. Financial planning, tax optimization, estate planning, and charitable giving counsel are just some of the other services they offer in addition to traditional banking.

Whether you work with a private banker or a wealth manager is a decision best made in light of your individual financial situation and objectives. Whether you work with a private banker or a wealth manager is a decision best made in light of your individual financial situation and objectives.

Wealth managers take a strategic and comprehensive approach to their clients’ financial situations in order to better position them for the future.

Professional wealth managers tailor investment strategies to each individual customer. After gathering information about their clients’ income, savings, and investing goals, they build a detailed plan.

In addition, they maintain client portfolios on an ongoing basis, keeping tabs on investments and making course corrections as needed. To provide a well-rounded approach to financial management, wealth managers frequently work with a group of specialists, such as tax consultants, estate planners, and insurance experts.

What exactly is the distinction?

When comparing private banking with wealth management, the primary distinction is in the breadth of services offered.

Wealth management include financial planning, tax optimization, estate planning, and philanthropy, whereas private banking largely concentrates on banking services and investment consulting.

The intended audience also differs significantly. Typically, private bankers work with wealthy people and large organizations, providing them with individualized services.

Wealth managers, on the other hand, focus on long-term financial planning and the preservation of wealth for a wider variety of clients, not just the ultra-wealthy.

A solid academic foundation in finance, economics, or a similar discipline is necessary for a career as a private banker or wealth manager.

A lot of people who work in these fields have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in economics, banking, or business. Credentials can be bolstered and skill demonstrated with professional certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Wealth managers and private bankers need strong interpersonal and communication abilities.

They need to be able to empathize with their clients’ financial situations and convey difficult financial concepts clearly. Professionals in these fields must possess a high level of trustworthiness, honesty, and discretion if they are to succeed.

Should you get a wealth manager or a private banker?

Whether you work with a private banker or a wealth manager is a decision best made in light of your individual financial situation and objectives.

A private banker may be the best option if you are primarily interested in individualized banking services like account management, credit facilities, and investment advice.

However, a wealth manager can give the skills and direction you need if you need a more comprehensive approach to financial management, such as financial planning, tax optimization, and estate planning.

The experience, credentials, and track record of a private banker or wealth manager are crucial factors to take into account when making a hiring decision.

Take the time to meet with potential candidates to ensure their communication style and values align with your own, and ask for testimonials or references from their existing clients to gain insights into their ability to deliver results.

Here are some crucial questions to ask when interviewing potential private bankers and wealth managers to help you make an educated choice:

  •     How familiar are you with helping people who share my financial priorities?
  •     To what extent can the services you provide help me achieve my financial goals?
  •     In terms of your investing strategy and risk management, how do you go about it?
  •     How do you arrive at your investment decisions, and what is your investment philosophy?
  •     What methods do you use to track economic data and market movements?
  •     Do you have any client testimonials or references we may look at?
  •     What methods do you use to collect payment, and how much do your services cost?

Wealth management and private banking rely heavily on the highest levels of trust and discretion. Since their clients entrust them with their financial well-being, it is imperative that they maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality and honesty at all times.

To safeguard their customers’ interests and keep their confidence, private bankers and wealth managers are subject to stringent ethical requirements and confidentiality agreements.

Confidentiality guarantees that private financial data is kept safe from prying eyes.

Private bankers and wealth managers benefit their clients by fostering an atmosphere conducive to open and honest communication, which in turn leads to better financial planning and decision-making.

In conclusion, the services of a private banker or wealth manager are invaluable for both routine and complex financial matters. Wealth managers provide a broader range of services than private banks do, including tax optimization, estate planning, charity, and financial planning.

Finding the proper specialist to satisfy your unique financial needs requires an understanding of the distinctions between these two functions.

Whether you are a high-net-worth individual in need of financial advice or a large organization aiming to get the most out of your investment portfolio, a private banker or wealth manager’s specialized knowledge and individualized service can be invaluable.

Is priority banking worth it?

A bank’s ability to function efficiently is directly related to the amount of cash it keeps on hand. A bank can stay open and continue to serve the general public if it treats some clients better than others in the hopes that those customers would spend more money with the bank.

The banking industry makes advantage of its financial know-how by holding the hands of its most valuable customers and guiding them through their financial dealings with the bank.

A reliable client, for instance, would think about putting their money in a fixed deposit, which is guaranteed to earn a certain amount of interest every month.

Priority banking customers, on the other hand, may be counseled to make investments and other decisions that carry more risk and higher potential benefits.

When a bank helps its wealthiest customers succeed financially, everyone wins. When clients are satisfied with the bank’s services and how their money is being handled, the bank’s clientele grows. Both parties can benefit from the current scenario.

Better interest rates, a dedicated relationship manager, and other perks are only the beginning of the unique service you receive as a priority banking client.

The perks you receive may vary from bank to bank, but often include the following:

  • If you have a high enough priority, you can skip the regular queues at the bank and go straight to the front of the priority line.
  • A committed relationship manager: Hang up the phone now and talk to a real person instead of a recording telling you to press 1 for English. Your relationship manager is there to assist you with any needs you may have and to advise you on how to best allocate your assets.
  • Exceptional interest rates: Most standard bank account interest rates are pitiful. Do not worry, yours should be a little better.
  • You should expect more attractive interest rates when you loan money because of the perception that you pose less of a risk due to your riches.
  • Banks often cover your fees in exchange for using their services, such as with overseas ATM withdrawals.
  • Additional benefits: Upon entering the facility, the vast majority of banks that offer priority or premier banking have designated areas and personnel waiting to serve these clients. Access to airport lounges, golf discounts, and more are also available.

Are private banks worth it?

In this article, we discuss the merits and drawbacks of private banks.

High-net-worth individuals, as you may be aware, have certain requirements when it comes to credit services. Client service is a priority at most private banks.

Financial advisory services such as investment management, treasury management, tax preparation, and trust planning are standard fare.

Both independent private banks and the private banking arms of larger retail banks offer private banking services. High-net-worth individuals (HNIs) might be members of the general population, company owners, or charitable organizations.

Consider, for argument’s sake, that you have ten million dollars spread out throughout numerous Citibank accounts.

If you do, Citibank will classify you as a Citigold Private Client, its highest tier of private banking service. With this standing, you have access to both a wealth manager and a relationship manager. You will also have access to service hours that regular customers of that bank do not have.

Bank fees are generally not charged, and high-level investment and wealth management services are made available.

Understanding the differences between priority and private banking, as well as the risks and considerations involved, will empower you to make an informed decision about whether these services are right for you.
Understanding the differences between priority and private banking, as well as the risks and considerations involved, will empower you to make an informed decision about whether these services are right for you.

When you travel, you can use your Citibank card to gain entry to any of their international lounges. The banking service may also supply you with complimentary tickets to a game or concert.

Like any other business, banks compete for clients by showcasing their superior products and services. More assets under control than competitors is one indicator of this. By catering to the needs of the affluent, banks earn the loyalty of their clientele.

As a result, customers keep their money in the bank for longer, giving the financial institution a greater opportunity to profit. If customers are satisfied with the individualized attention they receive, they may decide to increase their financial investment.

A regular person might use a bank for their checking or savings needs.

Those with more disposable income, however, have access to a specialized relationship manager who studies their financial history in depth. This type of manager will help the wealthy customer with any transactions or services they may require.

There are cases where the client is already dealing with a financial advisor. If that is the case, the private bank (or division thereof) relationship manager will work together with the client’s financial advisor.

The client’s use of banking and other financial services will be greatly simplified as a result.

The real criteria for gaining access to private banking services may vary by institution. It is possible that the largest retail banks will offer private banking in tiers.

In other words, the more a customer tops out their account with, the more deals and freebies they will have access to. Let us start with a high-level overview of private banking tiers (defined by client wealth).

Below One Million Dollars

The minimum deposit for private banking services at UK institutions like Metro Bank and Lloyds is £250,000.

Whereas Santander and other private banks want £500,000 to even consider you as a client.

Therefore, with a balance of less than a million dollars, you can take use of most banks’ private banking services.

Between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000

Banks like Standard Chartered, HSBC, etc. typically require a net worth of roughly £5 million to open an account.

Private banking services may be available from £2–£3 million at some financial institutions like UBS and Credit Suisse.

So, those with a net worth between $1 million and $10 million can take advantage of medium-tier private banking services.

Over $10,000,000

Offering private banking services could require a minimum deposit of $10 million with large banks like JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Ultra-high-net-worth clients are those who have between $30 million and $250 million in liquid assets. Customers with a net worth of $250 million or more are considered mega-high-net-worth.

Given all these tiers, let us use JP Morgan Chase & Co. as a case study in tiers of service. Private banking services are available here with a minimum balance of only $150,000 in deposit or investment accounts.

Private bank clients with a minimum of $10 million in assets will, in turn, enjoy much more benefits. Such customers can benefit from individualized financial strategies, investment plans, and guidance, among other services.

Benefits of Private Banking

First, let us take a look at what private banks can do for their customers.

All Under One Roof

To begin, all of your financial activities will be conveniently located in one place. Most of the financial needs of HNWIs can be met at this one convenient location. This entails individualized care beyond that provided by the consolidated services.

Banks and other financial institutions will give the finest service possible to its affluent customers. Private banks are also beneficial if you are an individual or company interested in doing large financial operations.

Committed leadership and staff

Your personal needs will determine how the relationship manager or customer service team assists you. A committed manager like that would have a thorough understanding of the client’s financial picture.

As a result, the client saves time by not having to repeat themselves as much as they would with a more typical client.

Problems like these arise for regular individuals since they constantly find themselves explaining the same things to new people. The devoted manager or group would also be happy to collaborate with your private accountant.

Exclusive promotions and deals

Private banking clients enjoy unique advantages due to the bank’s focus on serving their needs.

Typical advantages consist of:

  • Enhanced returns on savings accounts
  • Reduced rates on credit cards and loans
  • More generous transfer caps
  • Prime Mortgage Interest Rate
  • Free use of some services
  • Even better, some may include free entry to a lounge or tickets to a particular event.
  • Individualized financing options

High-net-worth people typically have more intricate loan requirements than can be met by traditional retail banking services. Individualized financial services for private clients are the specialty of private banks and private banking departments.

Customers are typically extended a credit line or provided increased loan amounts.


As implied by its very name, secrecy is a key feature of private banking. Clients’ use of private banks and any associated financial transactions or services are concealed from public view.

High net worth individuals are given exclusive, tailored solutions. Otherwise, rival businesses would provide the same services at lower prices to steal customers.

Different types of investments

The financial requirements of high-net-worth clients are different from those of average ones. Private banks see this trend and respond by providing clients with a wider range of investment options.

Retail investors may not have as ready access to alternative investments. Hedge funds, private equity, etc., are some examples of the types of alternative investments offered by private banks.

Drawbacks of Private Banking

Now that we have covered the benefits of private banking, let us look at the context in which it operates.

Committed leadership and staff

Wait, but is that not that a benefit and something that private banking customers should appreciate? In terms of customer loyalty, it might be a double-edged sword.

The manager or support staff may favorably advise you, but ultimately they work for the bank.

Since the bank is the one paying them, it seems to reason that they will support the bank’s interests. This supervisor or group of helpers would work to increase the bank’s profits.

In most cases, the bank will try to encourage the client to use one of its services or buy one of its products. It is possible that the customer will not always benefit from these services or products.

Having a dedicated manager and support team is also complicated by the fact that they are not permanent employees.

Researchers in 2017 found that private bankers experience significantly more stress than workers in other industries. When a dedicated manager leaves a bank, it can be like starting over again.

The other option is to find a new account manager and follow them to their new company. However, this would necessitate the time-consuming and perhaps difficult procedure of starting afresh.


The possibility of rising fees is another two-edged sword of private banking. Some of you may be thinking, “But weren’t exclusive deals and promotions part of the benefits too?”.

This is correct. But you might need a bigger bankroll to have the highest quality assistance. You may be denied access to private banking services if you do not match the criteria.

If your account balance falls below $150,000 in Chase’s Private Client program, you may be charged $35 each month. Obtaining services like wealth management may also incur additional fees.

Fewer products to choose from

A private bank is the ideal place for a client with a high net worth to find investment options. Most private banks and private banking departments fall short of a client’s varied investing needs.

Therefore, the customer has no choice but to accept the bank’s in-house products.

There is no denying the efficacy of a private bank’s legal, investment, and tax services. This does not imply that these services are preferable to those provided by professionals such as financial counselors or wealth managers.

It is possible, for instance, that a wealth manager or a very modest organization provides superior service compared to its larger competitors.

However, smaller banks may have fewer investment options available to their clients.


Private banks provide excellent products and services, but they also confront some difficulties. Since 2008, private banks have had to contend with increasingly onerous regulations.

Professionals in the field of private banking are subject to stricter licensing requirements. This will guarantee that they have the skills necessary to give their clients sound financial guidance.

Large amount of capital needed

For six figures, most private banks will consider dealing with you, but there is usually a catch. Private banking services from well-known financial organizations can often cost as much as $1 million.

You can receive some of their services for less money, but if you want the finest of them, you will have to spend more.

The designated account manager would also recommend that you upgrade to premium services for an additional fee.

Those hardworking supervisors are still the bank’s employees who must do their daily tasks. Their primary objective probably involves convincing the customer to increase their investment.

This is done to boost the bank’s AUM by encouraging the client to invest more money.

Adam’s take: Wealth managers vs. private banking?

Private banks may advertise wealth-related services, but their offerings typically fall short of expectations. Particularly when compared to the services of a dedicated wealth manager (whether corporate or individual).

Private banking, in my opinion, might be beneficial if you are trying to get higher-quality financial services than those of retail banks.

Unlike traditional banks, which often provide a one-size-fits-all approach, priority and private banks take the time to understand their clients' unique goals and needs.
Unlike traditional banks, which often provide a one-size-fits-all approach, priority and private banks take the time to understand their clients’ unique goals and needs.

What I mean by “better banking services” is anything from loan options to increased transaction limits to special banking promotions, etc.

Private banks, however, may be weak links when it comes to wealth management and investment.

Why? Let me elaborate.

Think about a runner who trains on a circuit and one who trains on a road. Let us pretend they are both equally skilled and in good shape.

Who do you think would have the upper hand in a race held on the circuit?

The one who has spent the most time honing their skills on the circuit is a safe bet. This is due to the fact that he is well-versed in every facet of circuit management. Similarly, private banks do provide clients with wealth management services.

However, these are only a small subset of the services they provide.

Wealth managers, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with investments and related services. Getting the finest possible outcome for their client is always their first priority.

They also have a greater depth of knowledge and experience in that area.

Such assistance consists of:

  • Financial administration
  • Financial planning through portfolio evaluation
  • Allocating Assets
  • Fiscal strategy
  • Estate Planning
  • Strategic Budgeting
  • Customers in need of these services should look for a specialist with relevant experience.

Adam’s Thoughts and Advice

Your understanding of private banking and how it operates should now be complete.

So that you may weigh the benefits against the drawbacks and decide if they are right for you, I have laid out both.

Private banks, in my opinion, are something of a necessary evil, but they are obviously not sufficient on their own. What I have just told you might give you some notion of the effectiveness of private banking.

If you are a person of high net worth in need of specialized banking services, this option will serve you well.

However, they might not be the best option when it comes to handling your wealth.

It is recommended to hire wealth managers or other financial experts for services such as investment management and wealth management.

If you are a wealthy person in search of investment services from conventional retail banks, you can kiss your ideology goodbye. I have already explained why a retail bank is not a good place to save your savings.

Unless you have been hiding for the previous few weeks, you are probably aware that two major American banks have failed recently.

In terms of size, Silicon Valley Bank ranked number sixteen among US financial institutions. The signature bank was smaller.

Credit Suisse has borrowed money from the Swiss National Bank before, and other financial institutions should learn from its mistakes.

Since 2008, this has been the worst financial crisis. The banking crisis will not spiral out of hand this time, in my opinion. However, these incidents show us that keeping cash in a bank is risky.

Banking is a game of trust. Banks take in funds at rock-bottom interest rates and lend them out at sky-high rates. Bank runs are always a potential risk.

If you possess assets, on the other hand, at least you have legal control over them. If you have a mortgage on a home and the bank that holds the mortgage goes out of business, you will still be the legal owner of the home.

It is possible that the new bank that takes over your account may simply want repayment. Similarly, almost no investment portal actually stores your cash. That means you will not have to worry about losing money if the company folds.

Investment firms such as Vanguard and BlackRock, in addition, do not use the same debt/leverage strategies as traditional financial institutions.

BlackRock is substantially larger than most “too big to fail banks” due to the size of its asset base, which is currently at $10 trillion.

Moreover, counting on bailouts and guarantees from the government is a mistake. Deposits at banks are not insured in many poor nations.

It is not a free lunch even in industrialized nations, even when they have the means to do so.

The banking system was salvaged in 2008, but economic stimulus was required from governments. As a result, currencies around the world began to lose value and interest rates remained much below inflation for nearly two decades.

If you had put your money in a bank in Europe, the United Kingdom, or the United States before to 2007–2008, you would have lost between two and three percent of its value every year to inflation.

It is not apparent that governments can be depended upon to safeguard depositors during the next crisis, whenever it occurs, because to lockdown legislation, aging populations, and the election of more extreme populist administrations.

In addition, when Cyprus’s banking system collapsed, depositors lost billions. Reuters reported five years ago that European courts had rejected compensation claims.

Given what they now know, many people are putting their money into “too big to fail banks” despite their disapproval of the way these institutions acted before 2008.

While the probability of their failure is lower than that of smaller and medium-sized banks, the system is fraught with hidden risk, and the inflation problem cannot be solved.

However, that does not mean we can safely use banks. To settle financial obligations, most of us use the services of either a conventional bank or an electronic money institution.

Having a financial cushion set aside is prudent. This crisis will not be as bad as the one in 2008, although I could be incorrect.

My firm belief is that savings accounts offer little protection against future financial crises or inflation. Long-term investments that are not vulnerable to the failure of a single financial institution are preferable. They may rise and fall, but that in no way compromises their security.

In addition, private banking is highly recommended for complex banking tasks like completing a purchase or taking out a loan.

A business that needs a way to process large transactions would benefit greatly from this. There may be many banking advantages to opening a business bank account with a private bank.

However, it should not be linked to a tricky field like financial counseling or asset management. Complex financial tasks like these should always be delegated to experienced experts like wealth managers. Particularly those who have been around for a while and have established track records.

Investment products and services offered by private banks typically come with a heftier price tag. Funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other generic investment products are common examples.

Private equity partnerships and real estate investments are two examples of rare opportunities that they might not make available.

If you only invest in well-known companies, you might not be fully diversified. In most cases, specialized professionals or businesses can deliver this at lower costs. More varieties of products may become available to you as well.

Furthermore, unlike private banks, these wealth managers or wealth management businesses do not have stricter standards.

Since I have been working as a wealth manager for some time now, I am confident in saying that the investment services I provide are first-rate.

I have access to a wide range of investing options for the ultra-wealthy. Among these are low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), private equity opportunities, and many others.

For a select few of my clients, I also collaborated with private banks, a novel experience. But I was the one in charge of all the investment-related stuff.

Depending on your needs and objectives, I may offer customized advice for your financial condition.

I am the kind of reliable expert you should choose to handle your investments if you need help finding one.

Get in touch with me if you think you could use the world-class high-net-worth services I offer.

What are the best priority and private banks in the world?

This list is a great resource whether you are on the market for a new priority or private banking provider or just want to see how your current bank stacks up.

J.P. Morgan

JPMorgan Private Bank is the firm’s international private banking and wealth management arm. It caters to wealthy people and their families, as well as charitable organizations and endowments.

If you are a high-value client of JPMorgan, you can take advantage of the bank’s investment management, wealth planning, credit and lending, and general banking services.

Priority banking clients have direct access to an experienced relationship manager for tailored investment guidance and other tailored services to help them reach their financial objectives.

JPMorgan Private Bank provides its priority banking clients with additional privileges beyond these standard offerings, including premium rewards programs, travel perks, and invitations to invitation-only events.

The mission of JPMorgan Private Bank is to help its priority banking clients prosper financially so that they may pursue their life’s ambitions and realize their full potential.



UBS Wealth Management, situated in Switzerland but serving high-net-worth clients worldwide, is a division of UBS AG.

UBS Wealth Management is one of the world’s largest wealth management organizations, with over 7,000 financial advisors and a global network of locations.

Priority clients of UBS can take advantage of a full suite of wealth management services, including individualized financial planning, investment advice, and guidance, and access to the global resources of a world-renowned bank.

The wealth management section of the company is one of the largest and most reputable in the world, and the brand has a long history of catering to the wealthy.

In addition, it provides individualized investment plans dependent on the client’s unique objectives, risk tolerance, and economic status.

Credit Suisse


Credit Suisse Private Banking is a subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group AG established in Switzerland that caters to ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families anywhere in the globe in need of professional wealth management services.

Credit Suisse Private Banking is one of the world’s largest private banks, with over 5,000 financial advisors and a worldwide network of offices.

Priority banking clients of Credit Suisse have access to a variety of exclusive investment opportunities, such as private equity and alternative investments, as befits a leading financial services institution with a long history of serving the wealthy and a reputation for providing high-quality financial services and advice.

Additionally, the company’s global reach is substantial. Credit Suisse, with offices in over 50 countries, offers its clients a vast array of financial services and prospects, including the chance to tap into local expertise in major financial hubs across the world.

It is worth noting that a huge crisis hit one of Switzerland’s top banks, Credit Suisse, in 2021 because of its relationship with the American hedge fund Archegos Capital Management. Archegos had borrowed money on margin from multiple banks, including Credit Suisse. The company invested the money in various businesses.

Archegos’ quick portfolio fall was caused by its inability to pay margin calls when a number of its assets went sour.

Credit Suisse was severely impacted by the consequences from the Archegos crisis, with the bank reporting losses of nearly $5 billion due to its exposure to the hedge fund.

As a result, the bank’s operations were drastically reorganized, and numerous high-ranking employees, including the CEO, resigned.

While this is clearly an alarming development at Credit Suisse, it does not necessarily portend doom for all Swiss institutions.

Larger banks like Credit Suisse and UBS coexist with many smaller and medium-sized banks in Switzerland’s largely decentralized financial sector.

In addition, Swiss banks’ exposure to risk is mitigated by the regulatory authorities’ stringent controls and oversight.

However, the Credit Suisse disaster emphasizes the significance of doing one’s homework before committing to any bank, no matter where it may be based.

Anyone thinking about opening an account with a financial institution should first determine whether or not they are okay with the level of risk associated with doing so.

Though the current situation at Credit Suisse is worrisome, it may not be indicative of systemic risks at other Swiss financial institutions.



Citigroup Inc. is a global banking, securities, and transaction services corporation, and Citi Private Bank is one of its subsidiaries.

Citi’s wealth management services are the most extensive of any bank, encompassing investment management, financing, insurance, and more.

It also demonstrates proficiency in a variety of asset categories. Equity, fixed income, alternatives, and other asset classes are just some of the areas in which Citi’s Private Banking group excels.

Citi also has a leading private banking section that is at the forefront of employing technology to enhance its clients’ wealth management services.

The bank is an industry pioneer when it comes to green banking, providing clients with a full suite of sustainable investment products and expert guidance.

HSBC Premier


Global ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families can turn to HSBC Premier, a division of the HSBC banking conglomerate.

With more than 7,000 financial advisors and a vast international branch network, it is a leading provider of priority banking services.

Customers place a high value on HSBC Premier because of the bank’s dedication to providing them with tailor-made solutions and first-rate support.

When a customer signs up for HSBC Premier, they are assigned a personal relationship manager who is available to answer any financial questions they may have.

HSBC Premier’s commitment to ensuring its customers have quick and easy access to their money is another distinguishing aspect.

Customers have access to their money at any time, day or night, thanks to online and mobile banking. Investment management and wealth planning are just two of the many services offered by HSBC Premier to help clients increase and protect their money.

Hana Bank


The Hana Bank in South Korea provides private financial services from birth to death and is not afraid to have some fun while doing it. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

Bank spokespeople claim that HB has created innovative digital private banking services for both regular clients and high-net-worth individuals.

The bank caters to the entire family in the HNW market, not just the breadwinner. Wedding and funeral planning help, “match-making” services for the grown children, and children’s activities are all examples.

Hana Bank, aware of the importance of connecting with the next generation of consumers, has launched a novel digital solution that brings together banking and video gaming. Netmarble, a popular Korean video game developer and publisher, developed the games.

As a response to the Covid-19 crisis, the bank began offering mobile social network services, including as YouTube and the Kakao chat channel, as part of its life-care portfolio. This action was taken to maintain communication with its clientele.

With 731 employees and 36,373 customers, Hana Bank’s private banking division saw their AUM rise to $58.3 billion in 2020, up from $56.6 billion in 2019.

Fieldpoint Private

Fieldpoint Private, headquartered in the United States, is one of the fastest-growing wealth consulting and private banking boutiques in the world.  It is a top-tier private banking institution.

Connecticut was the initial epicenter, but now New York City, Georgia, and Florida are also affected. Recently, its assets under management (AUM) reached $5 billion, while its balance sheet assets at banks hit $1 billion.

For the ultra-wealthy, Fieldpoint Private offers a wide range of services, including guidance on how to best transfer and tax plan for wealth, as well as aggregation and reporting on performance, risk management, goals-based investment strategies, investment selection, private banking, customized credit and trust services, and even concierge assistance.

Russell Holland, president and CEO of the firm’s banking unit, has emphasized the complementary nature of the banking and wealth advisory services offered by the company. These services include commercial and personal banking as well as investment advice and asset management.

DBS Private Bank


DBS was an early adopter of digital client services, years before the Covid-19 pandemic. Even as the pandemic progressed, it was recognized for its digital innovation and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible.

DBS also took steps to better prepare for pandemic issues by instituting a paperless credit application process and increasing active participation and monitoring of credit portfolios through portfolio stress-testing.

DBS digibank (formerly known as iWealth app) received updates in 2021 to better facilitate daily banking activities, wealth management, and investment for the bank’s affluent clientele.

Among the new additions are smart triggers powered by AI that notify investors of significant shifts in equities and foreign exchange (FX) prices and provide personalized stock recommendations.

Investors can now use digital channels for more than 90% of their share purchases, 40% of their fund and FX transactions, and 90% of their business with private banks.

The bank introduced the DBS Digital Exchange in December 2020, and the following month it went operational as a full-service, members-only digital exchange for trading and holding digital assets, including cryptocurrency.

The bank’s dedication to new ideas is shown in this project. DBS expects 1,000 users by the end of the year, and 20%-30% annual growth for the next three years.

The bank plans to “hyper-personalize” client engagement in the future with the use of emerging technologies like AI and machine learning, specifically with its Client Connect platform for smart-touch advisory and DBS digibank platform for self-directed online execution.



In 1999, BBVA established Spain’s first socially responsible investment vehicle, the BBVA Solidaridad fund, and the corporation has since been actively seeking for other opportunities to profit while doing good. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

A percentage of the bank’s annual management fee is being donated to green causes, since they have just formed an investment fund with a social conscience.

BBVA’s private banking clients can now choose from a variety of sustainable and socially responsible investment vehicles.

There are a lot of people who use BBVA’s private banking services since over 84,000 people in Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Argentina, Peru, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Uruguay, and Venezuela utilize BBVA’s private banking services. There is a total of €96 billion ($109 billion) that is managed by private banks around the world.

The Global Finance Award for Financial Leadership in Sustaining Communities is the latest in a long line of ESG accolades that BBVA has earned. In 2018, BBVA issued the largest senior green bond in the Eurozone.

Bank of America


Bank of America’s (BofA) record of charitable giving goes back a long way. The US bank has been advising endowments and foundations on investing strategies for 160 years. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

In addition, its 200 charitable specialists—many of whom have been with the company for more than a decade—provide a vast array of services, including investment outsourcing, consulting and advice, administrative services, and speciality asset management.

Banks that are clientele of other BofA divisions have benefited from the nonprofit is generosity of its internal time and resources.

They have recently worked with the charitable, medical, and academic arms of BofA’s Global Commercial Bank.

As of the first half of 2021, the private bank managing the $50 billion in AUM for endowments, foundations, and charities has taken on a record-breaking $4.7 billion in new charitable AUM mandates.

Over the past five years, sales for the Philanthropic Solutions team have increased by 40%, while AUM has increased by 65%.



The 217,600 customers in 11 countries are serviced by Banco Santander’s worldwide private banking division.

It is a part of the Spanish bank’s thriving Wealth Management and Insurance department, which Victor Matarranz, the department’s worldwide chief, streamlined in 2014. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

Matarranz has been growing and internationalizing the private bank services it provides to clients with wealth in excess of €20 million.

Santander currently serves some 2,000 ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families globally, and its UHNW clients possess half of the assets on certain of its offshore platforms in the US, Switzerland, and the Bahamas.

The private bank has made it a priority to assist its ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) customer families before, during, and after the transfer of wealth between generations.

Matarranz argues that a significant milestone in this process is the first time a member of a new generation attends a meeting of the family office.

When that person voices their concerns regularly, it can be unnerving to the patriarch who has been in charge of the family fortune for so long with little to no pushback. Even so, there is a chance that everyone participating will gain insight.

One reason for the private bank’s success is its global reach, which allows it to provide the same level of service to customers in both domestic and international markets.

For instance, Santander Future Wealth, the group’s renowned investment fund, was developed by Santander Asset Management Luxembourg before being rolled out to the rest of the group’s markets (including Chile, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

BTG Pactual

If things went according to plan, BTG Pactual would be one of the most active commercial lenders in Latin America, but the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 made it impossible. However, it is still a top-tier private banking institution.

Businesses suffered losses due to necessary lockdowns, frightened customers, and a lack of supply.

BTG Pactual Wealth Management provided first-rate information, advice, and liquidity to several corporations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and other Latin American countries.

This was made possible by the bank’s excellent cash flow throughout the year and one of the highest Basel ratios among its peers.

The bank was in such good financial shape that it could increase its loan offerings at a time when companies desperately needed them. BTG Pactual’s lending portfolio grew by 68% year-over-year, with the majority of the growth coming from loans to highly profitable borrowers.

By the end of 2020, assets under management and custody in the wealth management industry had risen to 153.9 billion Brazilian reais (about $27.8 billion), a growth of 33% year over year despite the economic climate.

With the hiring of 30 new members of staff, the wealth division saw a 20% increase in personnel.

Kotak Mahindra


One of the oldest private banks in India, Kotak Mahindra, is rumored to manage the fortunes of 51 percent of India’s 100 wealthiest families. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

However, the Mumbai-based bank has also been vociferous about the importance of helping India’s new middle class. Kotak Wealth Management has designed targeted programs for women and millennial business owners to facilitate this.

The bank, for instance, hosts events where young workers may hear from seasoned executives and network with their peers.

To quote the bank’s representatives: “Kotak Wealth believes that only when women begin to achieve their true economic potential will India achieve its full growth potential.”

One of the many studies the bank has put out in support of its aim is a list of the 100 most successful women business owners in India.

To “analyze and understand the evolution of key wealth creation trends among women,” and to highlight women’s successes and contributions, are the goals of these publications.

J. Safra Sarasin


Swiss-Brazilian private bank J Safra Sarasin announced early in May that it had completed its agreement to purchase the private banking business of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) in Hong Kong and Singapore.

It was generally agreed that BMO’s varied clientele of ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNW) would be a good fit for J Safra Sarasin as the firm sought to expand its footprint in Asia.

Approximately $208 billion will be invested by the end of 2020, up from 185.8 billion Swiss francs in 2019 for the Basel-based bank group.

Of that total, Switzerland contributed 100 billion Swiss francs; Europe (without Switzerland) contributed 54.5 billion francs; and Asia contributed 18.1 billion francs. That last piece will emerge, for sure.

J. Safra Sarasin’s purchase of BMO’s Asian operations is likely not his last. A solid plan for expanding internationally has been put in place.

In practically every yearly report since 2014, the bank has boasted about how it is “hungry for deals” and has beaten out all of its Swiss competitors with the exception of Julius Bär.


PNC Financial’s purchase of BBVA USA Bancshares by PNC Bank is widely expected to elevate PNC Bank to a more prominent position among private banking firms, allowing it to attract a larger clientele and speed up the development of its family office services for the ultra-wealthy.

PNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is the nation’s fifth-largest commercial bank thanks to an acquisition in June that gave it $560 billion in assets and a network of branches across the country.

In addition, the four-time champion private bank in the US Southwest region was acquired along with BBVA’s US wealth management section. PNC also rebranded the wealth management division of BBVA USA as PNC Private Bank.

PNC Private Bank Head Don Heberle said that with BBVA USA’s presence in the Southwestern and Western United States, the bank is now able to offer services to customers across the country.

PNC has also been growing its private banking services by attracting a broader range of clients and employees from different walks of life and income brackets, such as “individuals who are just beginning their wealth accumulation journeys, such as corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, and others, through to larger families and family offices.”


Scotiabank has approximately 90,000 workers and $1.2 trillion in assets, making it the third largest bank in Canada. It is a top-tier private banking institution.

Its Global Wealth Management branch serves about 1.5 million customers in 13 countries, many of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With $344 billion in AUM as of the third quarter of this year, the private banking branch of Scotia Wealth Management saw a 17% growth in AUM year over year and a 20% increase in net income year over year, totaling $397 million.

Private banking, trust and estate administration, investment management, and even niche services like insurance planning are all part of what this segment has to offer. The Global Family Office Group at the bank focuses on the ultra-high-net-worth clientele.

According to Scotia, their MD Financial Management branch is “the only national financial services firm dedicated exclusively to the financial well-being of Canada’s physicians and their families.”

Scotia has lately announced that it intends to make acquisitions in the United States in order to grow its wealth management division. The Canadian banking industry is still battling historically low interest rates, which have resulted in stagnant loan growth and limited profit margins.

Final thoughts: Is priority or private banking right for you?

Priority and private banking services offer a range of benefits and perks that can enhance your financial journey.

If you are an affluent individual or family, these services can provide personalized attention, tailored financial solutions, and access to exclusive offerings.

However, it’s important to carefully evaluate your financial situation, goals, and expectations before committing to a priority or private banking relationship.

Understanding the differences between priority and private banking, as well as the risks and considerations involved, will empower you to make an informed decision about whether these services are right for you.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

This website is not designed for American resident readers, or for people from any country where buying investments or distributing such information is illegal. This website is not a solicitation to invest, nor tax, legal, financial or investment advice. We only deal with investors who are expats or high-net-worth/self-certified  individuals, on a non-solicitation basis. Not for the retail market.



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