Banks are targetting the rich and ditching the rest

Bankers are readying their forces for onslaught to net wealthy clients as they sense rich pickings from expats.

Barclays and Lloyds TSB International have quietly notched up massive increases in profits from serving high net worth Brits and ex pats over the past year.

Barclays Wealth posted a 30% increase last year, while Lloyds TSB International profits surged by 45%.

HSBC is busy reorganising, announcing the loss of around 2,200 jobs in the UK and realigning branches overseas as the bank targets wealthier clients and ditches general financial advice.

So who are these rich list clients so desired by the banks?

Lloyds TSB International focus on three clients – the mass-affluent, affluent and high net worth.

The bank won’t reveal to customers how they classify them, but different teams and managers will deal with those with between £100,000 and £1 million to invest, those with £1 million to £2 million and those with more than £2 million.

Banks are focusing on their rich list customers because they have the cash to pay for their services and the administration charges on managing their funds bring in big profits.

Banks are retrenching back to the days of serving the haves and have nots.

If wealthy customers need a mortgage, investment advice or credit, then they roll out the red carpet and get the deal done.

Someone with little or no financial resources stays in limbo.

HSBC and Lloyds TSB International are both singing from the same song sheet – tailoring services to the wealthy wherever they live, not by location.

If you are one of the estimated 5.5 million Brits living abroad and have £100,000 or more in spare cash, you could be the target for QROPS pensions, offshore bonds and other tax and investment strategies.

Remember, if you are caught in the banks’ sights, their problem is they are likely to advise on their own products and not offer best advice over a range of providers, unlike an independent financial advisory firm such as