The Rana Talwar promoted Centurion Bank of Punjab will become the first private bank in the country to offer services related to Trusts and Wills. The Mumbai headquartered bank is in the final stages of forming a joint venture with a legal company for the same. ‘We will offer this as a part of our wealth management services to our High Networth Individual (HNI) clients,’ said Harpreet Singh, business director (Wealth Management, Distribution & Loans) in an interview to Mint. He declined to give further details on the new company or the name of the firm. The new company will be incorporated next month.
The first Asia-Pacific Wealth Report published in 2006 by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini estimated that were around 83,000 HNIs in India at the end of 2005 having a net worth of more than $3.5 million (Rs 16 crore approx). However, Singh feels that if one calculates an HNI in India having assets more than Rs 50 lakh, then the number of HNIs would be more than 1.5 million. The bank will offer these services as a part of their newly launched service called Centurion Elite.
Through Centurion Elite, the bank customers will be able to avail personalized services through a dedicated relationship manager. We will offer mass affluent specialized banking products allied with lifestyle services, adds Singh. Currently, 5% of the bank’s existing customer base would fall under the HNI category. The services of Centurion Elite will roll out in the 256 branches of the bank located across the country.
The bank plans to increase the number of branches to 279 by March 2007. With the impending merger of Lord Krishna Bank, Centurion bank expects the number of branches to rise to 400. To increase visibility of the brand, the bank is also stepping upon its brand-building exercise.