Asia's wealth managers pause from offering digital assets

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Asia's wealth managers pause from offering digital assets

According to an industry survey by Accenture, Wealth managers in Asia are holding back from offering digital assets to investors despite rising demand due to a lack of understanding of these assets.

Some banks have been cautiously moving intocryptocurrencies for several years, some building it within existing operations and others setting up new businesses.

Currently, 52 percent of affluent investors in Asia hold digital assets of some sort. Accenture's research shows that this could reach 73 percent by the end of 2022, Accenture said on Monday.

Digital assets represent 7% of the surveyed investors' portfolios, making it the fifth-largest asset class in Asia - more than they allocate to foreign currencies, commodities or collectables. Two-thirds of wealth management firms have no plans to offer 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 about 3,200 investors and another of more than 500 financial advisors at wealth management firms in Asia. Accenture said digital assets are a $54 billion revenue opportunity for wealth management firms that most are ignoring.

There is a lack of belief in and understanding of digital assets, a wait- and- see mindset and the fact that launching a digital asset proposition is operationally complex and it is choosing to prioritize other initiatives, among firms' barriers to action.

In December 2020, Southeast Asia's biggest bank DBS Group launched a standalone platform for cryptocurrencies trading that offers corporate investors and accredited investors with trading services for many digital assets.

Last month, Nomura Holdings said it will create a digital asset company that will allow institutional investors to trade products linked to cryptocurrencies.