Asian banks have greater traction in Singapore FX markets than HK

Widening gap in market share growth.

Asian banks and specialist FX providers have much greater traction in Singapore’s Spot FX markets than they do in Hong Kong, newly released data from Asia Pacific banking analysts East & Partners Asia shows.

The Asia Business FX Report reveals a widening gap in market share growth between Singapore and Hong Kong for Micro and SME business segments. Specialist FX providers and local Asian banks operating in Singapore are making firm inroads into the dominance of the incumbent ‘Big Three’ comprising Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

Specialist FX providers such as AMEX and Western Union represent 10.5 percent of primary Spot FX relationships in Singapore - almost two times greater than the 5.5 percent of Spot FX relationships secured in Hong Kong.

ANZ, RBS and other International entrants have also made headway in the dynamic Singapore market as businesses spread more of their business FX wallet across multiple providers, hunting better value for money and improved customer service.

Average FX wallet share for primary providers in Singapore has dipped below 20.0 percent, signifying the intensifying market for business FX products. Spot FX continues to be rated the most important product ahead of FX Options and Forward FX, yet more sophisticated risk management tools are becoming a focus for small business treasurers included in the biannual research sweep.

The report also details which banks are succeeding in delivering Spot FX, Forward FX and FX Options product and service satisfaction excellence. Specialist FX providers outperform their rivals for customer satisfaction in Hong Kong, yet local Asian banks continue to rank highest in Singapore.

Martin Smith, Senior Markets Analyst at East & Partners singles out mind share as the number one predictor of sustained market share growth.

“The Big Three continue to be nominated as the most prominent FX providers among 1,405 small businesses surveyed across four countries. The majority of business FX customers nominate Citigroup, HSBC or Standard Chartered as ‘the’ bankers of FX services” he said.

“Declining wallet share is a major challenge however, given that Asian banks and specialist FX providers are quickly improving their product and service offerings, particularly in Singapore, and consistently delivering eye catching results.”

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