US Banks Vy for Wealthy Clients


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With government legislation banning overdraft fees taking effect this year, US banks like Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase are aggressively wooing wealthy clients to secure income. The Financial Times has the story:

For many financial services companies, an expanded wealth-management platform is part of a broader effort to divert resources towards businesses that promise steady returns and lucrative, lasting client relationships.

With many baby boomers inching towards retirement, such services should see a pick-up in demand even if the economic recovery fails to take hold. “Regardless of economic conditions, there are things that must happen financially for every life,” Lyle LaMothe, head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s US wealth-management business, told the FT. “Businesses will take loans and pass on costs to consumers. Babies will be born. People will retire.”

The number of people with at least $1m in investable assets rose to 10m in 2009, up 17 per cent on the year, as many stock markets rallied, according to a study by Bank of America and Capgemini.

17% more millionaires in the middle of the Great Recession? I’d like to know how they pulled that off–and why nobody’s talking about it.