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Barclays: New RBI norms not to impact wealth management biz

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 21:48

Mumbai: The wealth management arm of British banking major Barclays Thursday said it will not be impacted by the Reserve Bank's proposed norms to bring about changes in portfolio management services.

"We are going through the draft proposals (of RBI). However, I feel we will not get impacted much as we are anyway operating as a separate entity," Satya Bansal, CEO, Barclays' Wealth and Investment Management India, told reporters here.

The wealth and investment management business, which Bansal leads, comes under the separately incorporated unit Barclays Securities, which is different from the banking arm.

He, however, said the company will be happy to do some tweaking as and when required by the regulatory bodies.

Last week, the RBI, in its draft guidelines, suggested banks need to hive off their wealth management units into separate companies. The apex bank's move was aimed at containing mis-selling of financial products.

"Banks may conduct all wealth management services activities ... Either from a separate subsidiary or through a separately identifiable department or division set up for the purpose," RBI said in the June 28 guidelines.

The regulator said to address the issue of conflict of interest arising from the single entity conducting both the activities of advisory or fund management as well as marketing, it is proposed to segregate the two functions.

Bansal welcomed the overall guidelines, saying they will help the industry. Barclays' wealth management business has been growing at 20 percent per annum since its formation in November 2008, twice the industry's growth, he said, adding India is an important market for them.

Bansal also said the company is getting mandate to set up private museums which will house "passion investments" of the wealthy like paintings and sculptures.

"These are pieces not bought as pure investment but out of love for art."

He was speaking after launching a survey of 100 ultra- and high-net-worth individuals in the country, which revealed that 43 percent of India's super rich use their wealth on lifestyle and other experiences.

Over 52 percent of them said they believed their wealth had increased during the years since the onset of the economic slowdown, among other findings.


First Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 21:48
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