Prime mortgage property lender Butterfield Mortgages polled 550 UK-based HNWIs and found that 78 per cent of those with investment assets in excess of £1m saw the quality of customer care as a ‘key consideration’ when choosing a service provider.
In fact care and attention were so important that almost two thirds were willing to pay more or achieve lower returns if they received a high quality of service and 63 per cent had switched provider due to insufficient attention in the past two years.
Elsewhere the research showed discretion and confidentiality to be another critical factor for HNWIs when choosing service providers – 74 per cent said this was important to them.
The same number said they were conscious of the social, ethical and environmental impact of their financial choices.
Alpa Bhakta, chief executive of Butterfield Mortgages Limited, said: "Today’s research demonstrates just how much emphasis HNWIs place on receiving an exceptional quality of customer care from the businesses they work with.
"From banks and wealth managers to investment firms and legal advisers, the amount and quality of the attention they receive from a service provider is clearly more important than the returns they achieve, within reason of course."
Ms Bhakta said companies specialising in working with HNWIs often recognised this and invested a great deal of time and energy with each individual client and managing bespoke offers.
The research found although the majority of HNWIs — 66 per cent — had several face-to-face meetings to build a rapport with prospective companies, the research found that almost four fifths still relied heavily on brokers and intermediaries to guide such decisions.
Commenting on the findings, Peter Izard, business development manager at Investec Private Bank, said: "In my experience of dealing with HNW clients, I can completely endorse the research findings.
"Clients in this sector are time-poor but value the concept of a personal and bespoke service from experts who understand their needs and can react accordingly.
"If their current provider fails to deliver to their requirements they will not be afraid to take their business elsewhere."
The HNW mortgage sector has seen increased interest from providers in recent months, with challenger bank OakNorth adding mortgages to its HNW loan service and Deutsche Bank now offering mortgages to HNWI in the UK mortgage market.
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