Private banking in the Czech Republic: Dream and Reality

I have a dream. I am in a limousine, pulling up to an ancient building where a porter in livery welcomes me onto a red carpet. He takes my keys and his colleague escorts me to the entrance. The massive old doors, decorated with gold, open smoothly by themselves and I enter a beautiful foyer, where I am carefully watched by guards in fancy uniforms. I walk up the stairs, where I am welcomed by a stunning young lady in an Armani suit, who leads me to a luxurious, very expensively furnished room. Apart from her beauty and charm, I also admire paintings by Monet and Dali. Then her velvety yet high professional voice says: “Would you like to perform an annual review of your money and investments at our bank?” I ease myself into a comfortable recliner and don’t even think about how many wealthy “backsides” have sat in it before. “Yes,” I answer. At that moment, her lovely assistant appears in the door to offer me refreshments. I order Dom Perignon, vintage 1989. I always have it. The year 1989 was the start of my successful life that brought my millions, which is why they treat me like this. Otherwise, they could be quite indifferent to me. But I have those millions, and they are the “gods”. The “gods” that ensure this luxury, their expensive suits and shoes and billions in profits for their institution from wealthy people like myself. A huge monitor slides down from the ceiling and our review begins. Following a two-hour assessment and two bottles of Dom Perignon, her assistant comes to bid me farewell, dressed likewise in an Armani suit (must be the company’s dress code), and I depart for my limousine perfectly satisfied. Everybody is smiling at me, but in my spirit I am smiling the most. I am richer again by several million…. Does this seem like an impossible dream to you? You probably immediately recall the premises where you perform annual reviews of your own wealth. Most likely, you are not aggressive enough towards your financial institutions and they think their premises are sufficient and classy enough. Tell them out loud what you want. Enough dreaming though, back to reality.



Sustaining and augmenting wealth is the main concern of most of the wealthy. This fundamental fact leads banks and financial institutions into a game called private banking.

 

What is private banking?

  • It is a conservative business;
  • It is a business with people;
  • Private banking dislikes any instability.

Why do we need private banking?

That is the same type of question as why do we need more and more psychiatrists? Because human relationships are replaced with computers. The same applies for private banking.

 

What is the key to the success of private banking?

Client loyalty. A satisfied client will bring new clients. A functional relationship brings stable revenues and fewer problems. Everybody in the “branch” should know that up to 8% of private clients change their bank every year compared to 2% among corporate clients.

 

What is the role of a private banker?

To relieve the client of the burden of caring for his own money.

 

Target group of private clients in the Czech Republic

  1. Families (private persons) that had their property that was confiscated/nationalised after 1948 restituted;
  2. Families (private persons) that have sold their companies or their part to foreign entities;
  3. Private persons that have their own prosperous companies;
  4. Top management of large Czech and foreign companies;
  5. Other wealthy private persons (athletes, artists, etc.);
  6. Embassies in the Czech Republic;
  7. Others.

 

The Czech Republic is a country of “new money” due to the developments after the year 1948, when almost all links to traditional ancient wealth were torn apart. For this reason, “inherited” wealth does not function here; on the contrary, there is “newly” created wealth that the client still needs to handle actively, and therefore he cannot or does not want to transfer large sums of money into traditional off-shore centres and tax paradises such as various islands in the Caribbean, or Lichtenstein or Switzerland. However, they do want the provided services to be on the same level as those in mature financial centres.

 

Segmentation of private clients in the Czech Republic

  1. Group A private clients (called HNWI – High Net Worth Individuals) – current account balance exceeding EUR 1 million;
  2. Group B private clients (called AI – Affluent Individuals) – current account balance exceeding CZK 5 million.

 

Requirements of private clients

  1. Global scope of their investment portfolio;
  2. Highly sophisticated products that not only protect their investments but also raise their value;
  3. Absolute guaranteed return strategies for their investments that will clearly define what kind of growth they may expect and the probability of its achievement;
  4. Alternative investments (such as various hedge funds, derivates, etc.)

 

Offer of private banking products in the Czech Republic

  • gold and platinum credit and debit cards;
  • executive club cards;
  • framework contracts with large companies providing various services (mobile operators, information technology, travel agencies, etc.);
  • possibility of investments into various European and work investment funds;
  • possibility of investments into stock and bond markets at home and abroad;
  • others according to individual requirements.

 

Banks in the Czech Republic that offer private banking

  1. Česká spořitelna
  2. Raiffeisenbank (under brand Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen)
  3. Komerční banka
  4. UniCredit Bank
  5. Citibank
  6. ČSOB
  7. Bank Guttman
  8. Privatbanka
  9. J&T Banka
  10. Oberbank
  11. PPF Banka

 

The article in Czech version can be found here

 

Jan VinterDr. Jan Vinter is renowned consultant in the field of domestic and international banking, business and politics. He worked for several international banks (Mitsubishi Bank, Citibank, ABN AMRO Bank, Erste Bank) in various managerial positions. At the political level he is closely linked to all its constitutional parts – Government, Parliament, political parties, President etc. He also lectures at the department of International Law and Relations at Charles University Law Faculty in Prague. He wrote many articles Re: economic, historical and social topics. These articles were published both in the Czech Republic and abroad. (jan.vinter@volny.cz)

 

Úvodní foto: © fotogestoeber - Fotolia.com

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