Berkshire Hathaway

Amex adjusts to new mood in spending

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 October, 1998, 12:00am

American Express Bank (Amex) is pursuing Hong Kong's young who aspire to affluence with its range of financial services as the economic downturn brings a modification to service requirements, rather than a suspension.

The managing director of Amex's personal financial services, Giampiero Grandi, said the company had a very strong base in Hong Kong and now was a good time to be selling financial services here.

'Consumers don't stop needing financial services - they just modify their needs,' he said.

According to Mr Grandi, consumers have borrowing needs in a booming market and lower borrowing and more savings needs if the economic outlook was poor.

Mr Grandi said Amex's target market was the affluent and the aspiring affluent segment, and the Asian market had a very large aspiring affluent population and a much younger one than the developed markets such as the US or Europe.

By tailoring its services to its target market, Mr Grandi said Amex was able to offer financial services to match the economic or life cycle of the consumer.

'As far as financial services are concerned, we would provide a lending service to those who are establishing a certain life-cycle, followed by a savings product as they become more mature, then investment and retirement products as they get older,' he said.

Amex is now developing and growing its personal financial services in the region which had been identified as a key area of growth.

'We want to expand in financial services in a general sense and in the international market and personal financial services is at the crossroad of these two strategies,' he said.