BNP Paribas Shuts its Wealth Management Business in India

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French banking company BNP Paribas has decided to completely shut down its onshore wealth management business in India in order to focus on its core business operations like corporate and institutional banking. However, the company, confirmed that the decision was not taken previously in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BNP Paribas Group is a leading European bank that has a strong global footprint across 71 countries with more than 198,000 employees. The Group is known to provide institutional, corporates and private investors with all relevant product and service solutions customized to their specific needs.
With its involvement both in a retail banking section and investment banking operations, the bank and its subsidiaries are present on five continents. Its retail banking section serves more than 30 million customers across its three domestic markets, which is in France, Belgium, and Italy via several brands such as BNL and Fortis. The bank also majorly operates in the Mediterranean region and in Africa. In the United States, it operates in the western United States known as Bank of the West. And as an investment bank and international financial services provider for institutional and corporate clients, it is present strategically across Europe, the US, and Asia.

The company offers a wide range of financial services in the corporate & institutional banking domain, asset management, wealth management, retail banking, insurance, as well as consumer financing through its various strategic partnerships. The company is shutting the wealth management wing in India so that it can solely focus on areas where its diversified business and global footprint strengths allow it to serve its clients with more value-added services.

The company further added that this decision is unrelated to the COVID-19 and clearly has no impact on their wealth management growth strategy in Asia, which still remains an important growth engine for their global franchise.

BNP Paribas leading officials have said the wealth management clients will now be referred to Sharekhan, which is a BNP Paribas’ wholly-owned subsidiary, known for brokerage and investment services for its individual clients.
The company has said it continues to focus on the growth of its corporate & institutional banking in India and has already invested nearly €800 million in capital since 2012 to support its growth in India. The company is also setting up an asset management joint venture with Bank of Baroda to distribute mutual funds in India as well as abroad. Further Sharekhan is also foraying into the discount brokering segment via a new subsidiary company.

BNP Paribas is the eighth largest bank by total assets in the world which has been in India since the last 10 years. BNP Paribas Wealth Management India has assets under management (AUM) of around USD 14.5 billion.
Besides its offshore business, BNP has a large technology and operations center in India catering to its global business where it employs over 13,000 staff members in Chennai and Mumbai.

As per officials, there are about 60 people working for the business in India and they have fairly been given the option to either relocate to other businesses like its wholly-owned subsidiary Sharekhan, which has products for all the high net worth individuals or join the company’s offices in Hong Kong or Singapore.

The decision to shut BNP Paribas Wealth Management wing in India has come as a shock because it was hiring even in early 2020. Ravinder Singh was appointed CEO and MD a 12 months in the past.

BNP joins the listing of huge wealth management corporations that have exited India in the previous decade. In 2019, IIFL Wealth determined to purchase L&T Finance’s wealth management business.

The decision to shut BNP Paribas Wealth Management India has come as a shock in the market because it was hiring even in early 2020. Ravinder Singh was appointed CEO and MD around 12 months back. BNP now joins the listing of huge wealth management corporations that have left a footprint in India in the previous decade.

BNP Paribas has a very long-standing presence in the history of India, dating back to 1860. Over the years, its Wealth Management services have steadily expanded to include a complete range of structural and financial solutions as well as to managing the personal wealth of its clients. Its unique, customized, and boutique-like services have made it particularly popular in India with the very-wealthy clans.


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