The number of wealthy Australians is on the up after a period of constrained global growth due to the recession, Datamonitor has projected.
The research firm calculates that the number of mass affluent Australian consumers - those with over $50,000 in onshore liquid assets – increased 13.7% in 2010.
Datamonitor analyst Andrew Haslip said this increase was significantly higher than the global mean, and bucks the recent trend from the developed markets.
The research firm predicts that over 5.7 million people slid from the ranks of mass affluent consumers in developed markets worldwide between 2005 and 2009.
The mass affluent population in emerging markets including China and India, by contrast, doubled over the same period.
But Datamonitor expects a return to growth in global developed markets going forward, as the world slides out of recession.
Australia in particular will be a key market to watch in APAC, Datamonitor said, as its growth from 2010 shows.
Banks will be among the organizations best placed to benefit from the growing mass affluent population, Datamonitor believes.
But paradoxically, it can be difficult to serve these wealthy consumers while still turning a profit, because as customers they want to be able to customize the financial services that they use, but are wary of paying extra for premium services.
As a result of this and a desire among the mass affluent to feel like they are being treated well by their banks, Datamonitor feels that more institutions will follow the lead of companies such as OSBC in Malaysia by developing services aimed specifically at these customers.
“Banks that tailor their services to the specific needs of mass affluent individuals will reap the rewards in the coming years,” Datamonitor senior analyst Michele Gorman said.