Asian wealth managers wary of digital assets despite growing demand

SINGAPORE, June 6 (Reuters) – Wealth managers in Asia are reluctant to offer digital assets to investors despite strong demand due to a lack of understanding of such assets, according to an industry survey by consultancy Accenture released on Monday.

Global banks have been cautiously turning to crypto for several years, with some building it into existing operations and others building new ventures.

“Currently, 52% of affluent investors in Asia hold digital assets of one kind or another. Accenture research indicates this could rise to 73% by the end of 2022,” Accenture said Monday.

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“Digital assets account for 7% of the portfolios of investors surveyed – making it the fifth-largest asset class in Asia – more than they allocate to foreign currency, commodities or collectibles. Yet, two-thirds of wealth management firms have no intention of offering digital assets,” Accenture said.

The findings were part of Accenture’s report on the future of Asia’s wealth management industry, based on two surveys – one of around 3,200 investors and the other of more than 500 advisers. financial managers of wealth management companies in Asia. The surveys were carried out in December 2021 and January 2022.

“For wealth management firms, digital assets represent a $54 billion revenue opportunity — one that most ignore,” Accenture said.

“Barriers to business action include a lack of trust (and understanding) in digital assets, a wait-and-see mindset, and – given that launching a digital asset proposition is complex on the operational plan – the choice to prioritize other initiatives,” he said. said.

Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS Group (DBSM.SI), launched a standalone cryptocurrency trading platform in December 2020 offering corporate investors and accredited investors crypto trading services for many digital assets. Read more

Last month, Nomura Holdings (8604.T) announced that it would create a digital asset company this year allowing institutional investors to trade products related to cryptocurrencies, among other things. Read more

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Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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Dolores W. Simon