Banking in Luxembourg - Statistics & Facts

Banking is a big contributor to the Luxembourg economy, with the total assets of the Grand Duchy's banking sector being over ten times bigger than the country's GDP in 2018. Over 90 percent of the industry's assets were not owned by domestic banks, but by foreign banks. Luxembourg features the most internationalised banking industry of the Benelux region, with over one third of the 135 coming from outside the European Union. In 2019, for example, 14 of all 129 banks located in the Grand Duchy came from China. This includes the seven largest Chinese banks: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the China Merchants Bank, Bank of Communications, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Everbright Bank. This presence was still less big than that of German banks, however, as Luxembourg housed 24 German banks in 2019. All these banks established themselves in Luxembourg to gain access to the EU internal market, using an EU passport for providing financial services across Europe. They particularly focus on private banking and asset management.

Private banking and wealth management are both financial services that are generally aimed at clients with a bigger portfolio than regular customers, such as high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs). This latter group of customers seems to be the main focus of the Luxembourg banking industry, as clients with assets worth over five million euros represented nearly 75 percent of private banking in the Grand Duchy. Source material in the country mainly uses the term "private banking", although the two terms of private banking and wealth management are slightly different from each other. Private banks, in general, do not take an active role in managing the client portfolio but instead offer a unique investment, whereas wealth management companies or independent financial advisors offer personalized portfolio strategies. Unlike Belgium, where private banking is mainly an additional service provided by domestic consumer banks, Luxembourg has many specialized private bank branches from outside the country. An example of this is HSBC Private Bank, a division of the UK bank that was established in Luxembourg in 1977 and almost exclusively focuses on wealth management for HNWIs.

When it comes to developments in retail banking, Luxembourg boasts high usage rates of online banking services and digital payments. In 2018, 78 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds in Luxembourg, for example, had used the Internet at least once for banking services. This was significantly higher than the overall online banking penetration in the Grand Duchy, which reached 70 percent in 2018. Debit or credit card transactions accounted for nearly two-thirds of total payments in volume in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2018. Additionally, Luxembourg banks receive many (international) household deposits. Non-Luxembourgish household deposits in banks in the Grand Duchy were worth over 30 billion euros in 2018, underlining the international character of Luxembourg retail banking.

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Banking in Luxembourg

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