Private Banking

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DEFINITION of 'Private Banking'

Personalized financial and banking services that are traditionally offered to a bank's rich, high net worth individuals (HNWIs). For wealth management purposes, HNWIs have accrued far more wealth than the average person, and therefore have the means to access a larger variety of conventional and alternative investments. Private banks aim to match such individuals with the most appropriate options.

BREAKING DOWN 'Private Banking'

In addition to providing exclusive investment-related advice, private banking goes beyond managing investments to address a client's entire financial situation. Services include: protecting and growing assets in the present, providing specialized financing solutions, planning retirement and passing wealth on to future generations.

While an individual may be able to conduct some private banking with $50,000 or less in investable assets, some exclusive private banks only accept clients with at least $500,000 worth of investable assets. The rationale is that such high levels of wealth allow these individuals to participate in alternative investments such as hedge funds and real estate. Furthermore, this level of wealth often prevents liquidity problems.

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