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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 16, 2009
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Dedicated Wealth Management
December 16, 2009   
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Jarosław Augustyniak, president of Noble Bank, talks to Elżbieta Wrzecionkowska about private banking.

Noble Bank was one of the first banks to launch specialist private banking services in Poland. What is your view on the status and development prospects of this kind of service in this country?
Private banking is quite a young idea in Poland. Its development comes in response to the demands of wealthy clients, who expect specialist financial services. A survey that the IQS Group conducted this June confirms that, despite the crisis, people in Poland are looking optimistically into the future in terms of finance. One in three respondents with above-average earnings declares that the condition of their household budget has improved over the past year. Over 70 percent of those polled say that the next 12 months will be better or at least as good for them financially as the previous year. If these forecasts come true, more wealthy clients will come to banks. The thresholds to qualify for the group eligible for private banking services vary and depend on how many people can be counted among this elite group. Exclusiveness is the special quality that sets private banking apart from other banking services.

Who are your target customers-wealthy Poles or foreigners investing on the Polish market?
Noble Bank's services are addressed mainly to wealthy Poles, but affluent foreigners living in Poland can become our clients as well. Some foreigners are offered an extensive range of products in their home countries. Some of our services are linked very closely to the Polish market-the real estate market, for example. The real estate market is still very attractive to foreigners.

You manage the personal wealth of your clients. What does such management involve?
Noble Bank offers comprehensive advice on investment and asset management, tailored to the needs of people with the highest earnings. Clients of Noble Bank can transfer responsibility to their advisor for their daily finances, long-term investment plans, real estate purchases and tasks related to everyday life. The bank's clients also have access to the exclusive Visa Infinite card. All these facilities mean that Noble Bank's clients gain elite, custom-made services available to only a small group. The fundamental principles remain unchanged-the bank was established to serve wealthy people, ensuring them discretion, a sense of security, specialist knowledge and individual solutions.

Art banking and building art collections is a proposal for exceptional clients knowledgeable about the art market. What kind of experts help with this?
Noble Bank is the first bank in Poland to offer art banking services. Creating a collection of prestigious paintings, unique sculptures and handicrafts can be both a passion and a method of investing and multiplying one's wealth. Noble Bank's art banking specialists first ascertain what the client's expectations are towards the future collection and then start planning it. Based on current trends in the world of art, specialists identify a set of works with the most qualities that determine success. From this group, together with the client, they choose particular items, and then plan and organize their purchase. The bank takes advantage of the best people from the art market-conservators and experts, who regularly prepare expert opinions on and valuations of diverse objects from the extensive market for works of art.

Concierge services are another non-standard option. Is solving daily problems part of your business philosophy?
The concierge service offered by Noble Bank is the highest degree of private banking-caring for a bank client at an extremely high level. This is very broad assistance in every life situation the client may require-from making dreams come true, to dealing with boring formalities. Wealthy clients hate wasting time, especially on errands requiring them to go out, find a store, pay in cash. Noble Bank is proud of the standard of its concierge service and likes to solve our clients everyday problems.

Many wealthy Poles invest in real estate beyond the Polish market. What can you offer them?
Each proposal is individually tailored to match the needs, requirements and possibilities of the client, his life plans and tastes. Today Poles can buy real estate anywhere in the world-homes in the United States or Spain have gone down in price, for example. We offer whatever is available on the market and seek out whatever a client wishes. Lately, more and more people have been buying homes not just in Croatia or Spain but also in faraway Brazil. We have reports from individual countries in our files. We very carefully follow what goes on in our domestic market, the natural location for our clients' investments. As I mentioned, the Polish market is still very attractive to foreigners.

Private banking is quite a young idea in Poland. Its development comes in response to the demands of wealthy clients, who expect specialist financial services.
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