Private banking services are exclusively available to wealthy bank customers whose liquid assets exceed a specified amount, such as more than $1 million. Some private banks make a distinction between ultra high net worth and high net worth individuals and distinguish services between those two groups of customers. The wealth management services that private banks offer to customers are not often available to the general public. These services include customized bank account products, foreign currency exchanges, and international fund transfers and investment services. Many banks also offer a wide range of advisory services in several areas, including tax planning, family business succession, and wealth protection.
One of the basic private banking products available to wealthy customers is a variety of bank accounts that earn competitive rates. The general public has access to the same products, but private banking often offers customized and highly personalized account services. Many of the checking accounts also earn the same rates as money market accounts, and customers have the ability to write an unlimited amount of checks each month. Non-private banking may not have access to the same interest rates because customers do not own as much cash. Customers of private banking can also deposit their money into higher interest-bearing accounts, but often the amount of checks that they can write each month is limited.
Foreign currency exchanges and international transfers are often popular private banking services among wealthy bank customers. Many high net worth individuals own assets in other countries and need to make transfers between off-shore and on-shore bank accounts. Others may own private businesses overseas and need the ability to exchange the accounts receivables for their current currency. They also need to be able to convert foreign currencies into the national currency where they reside. Private banking services often exist to make the process as easy and as hassle free as possible for customers by providing a number of foreign exchange services.
Private banking services are sometimes synonymous with investment services for wealthy individuals. Bankers offer investment advice on an overall investment strategy, recommend investment products, and advise on the proper allocation of assets. As part of offering highly personalized services, private bank services may also include detailed and regular analysis of external financial conditions and advice to clients regarding wealth protection. Private bankers may also review portfolios on a monthly basis and provide clients with the advice they need to make decisions on asset management.