What Banks Do Millionaires Use? (And Why Do They Keep Their Money There?)

Banks often offer private financial and wealth management services to attract high-net-worth clients. These services may be excellent for some but won’t work for everyone.
Updated May 22, 2024
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Several popular banks, like JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi Bank, and Goldman Sachs, offer private banking options that provide millionaires with wealth management advice and services.

With enough investable assets, these private banks offer their affluent clients banking products, like premium checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and investment opportunities. They also provide special services, like tax strategy, trust preparation, and philanthropy planning, for those who want assistance or want to hand off the responsibility of money management to someone else.

So, what banks do millionaires use? Let’s explore some of the banks wealthy people use to invest their money and prepare for the future.

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In this article

Key takeaways

  • Private banks offer high-net-worth individuals personalized financial assistance and wealth management services.
  • The required minimum balance varies by bank, but those with assets of $1 million or more benefit the most from private banking.
  • Some banks only work with ultra-high-net-worth individuals with investable assets of $10 million or more.
  • Private banking can help high-net-worth founders or partners handle company banking needs.
  • Millionaires choose private banks for tax planning, exclusive investment opportunities, and wealth longevity.

7 banks that millionaires use

  1. Bank of America Private Bank
  2. J.P. Morgan Private Bank
  3. Wells Fargo Private Bank
  4. UBS Wealth Management
  5. Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management
  6. Citi Private Bank
  7. HSBC Global Private Banking

What type of banks do millionaires use?

Millionaires may prefer private banks over personal banks. Private banking is typically designed to enhance and manage wealth for high-net-worth clients.

Most people use personal banks to keep their money safe and pay their bills. You may be familiar with the options that many of the best banks offer, like checking and savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts.

Private banks, on the other hand, provide personalized products and services based on the specific individual to help them meet their wealth management needs.

These private banking services are generally only available to people with at least $1 million in investable assets and tend to have high fees.

What services does private banking offer?

While private banking does include checking and saving accounts, it also typically has concierge-style services like:

  • Access to a personal banker
  • Preferred APY rates on checking and savings accounts
  • Lower interest rates on loans and mortgages
  • Tax planning
  • Financial planning
  • Investment advice and portfolio management
  • Risk mitigation
  • Estate planning and trust services
  • Credit and cash flow oversight
  • Arranging a large mortgage or property investment
  • Strategizing ways to pass wealth on to future generations without a significant tax burden
  • Philanthropy and charitable endowments

Generally, the more money you have, the more help you need to manage day-to-day decisions and long-term planning. A private bank can help you with these details and provide access to experts in different wealth management fields.

How do I open a private bank account?

To open a private bank account, you’ll likely need to meet in person with a banker or submit a form online, and a bank representative will call you.

You’ll need to provide personal information, including your name, Social Security number, driver’s license information, and the required minimum opening deposit to start an account.

Once you establish a private bank account, you’ll likely be introduced to a private banker or team of bankers. This private banker will be your point of contact and coordinate working with more specialized wealth management professionals, like attorneys or tax strategists.

What are the benefits of private banks?

Private banking has many features that make it worthwhile for the right individual.

Although the services at each bank will vary, most of them provide benefits like:

  • Privacy: Private banks maintain strict confidentiality for their clients and provide tailored options. Private banks also take cybersecurity seriously. For example, J.P. Morgan Private Bank says they spend nearly $600 million yearly to secure client data.
  • Access to a private banker: Most private banks give you access to a dedicated representative who is your contact at the bank. As you develop a working relationship with the bank, you’ll have a team to handle your concerns and ensure your money is handled effectively.
  • Prime rates or pricing: Although each bank's offerings vary, private banking customers may receive a higher annual percentage yield (APY) on investments, CDs, and other accounts and lower interest rates on mortgages or loans. A private banking client may also receive a free bank safety deposit box and high daily limits on mobile check deposits.
  • Trust management: Private banking services often provide access to estate planning assistance to protect wealth for future generations. These services can help customers save on legal fees and reduce the hassles of setting up a trust. Private banks can help you determine the type of trust that best suits your needs and the tax and fee implications of setting it up.
  • Consolidated banking options: Private banking clients can often meet their wealth management needs through just one bank. The personal team of bankers liaises with other departments within the bank and outside experts, so affluent individuals don’t have to worry about finding the right expert for their problem.

7 private banks millionaires use

1. Bank of America Private Bank

Bank of America offers various services to wealthy customers. However, Bank of America doesn’t publish its minimum balance requirements for its private banking services.

The bank’s specialized services include standard banking and lending, as well as customized financing that uses a yacht, airplane, or art collection as collateral for more significant projects.

Customers may also have access to a line of credit to help maintain liquidity. Other services include:

  • Trust management
  • Philanthropy
  • Endowment planning
  • Investing in alternate assets
  • Art services for collectors or institutions

Bank of America partners with investment company Merrill Lynch to offer the Preferred Rewards program, which offers extra rewards, an interest rate booster on savings accounts, and additional investing options through Merrill Lynch.

You don’t need to be a private banking customer to use the Preferred Rewards program. However, the Diamond level of the Preferred Rewards programs requires a minimum average balance between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch accounts of $1 million over three months. Diamond Honors members must maintain an average balance of $10 million over three months to receive benefits.

2. J.P. Morgan Private Bank

J.P. Morgan Private Bank has been in business for almost 200 years and was named the best private bank in the world by the Global Finance magazine in 2020. It offers:

  • General banking
  • Wealth management services
  • Trust account management
  • Lending facilitation on expensive and custom homes or even superyachts.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank ensures that every personal banker is a fiduciary, meaning the person you work with is legally required to put your financial interests ahead of their own or their firm’s. Ensuring you work with a fiduciary can be vital to getting the right advice.

J.P. Morgan doesn’t publish its minimum balance requirements, but many private banks require at least $1 million in investable assets to qualify for private banking.

3. Wells Fargo Private Bank

Wells Fargo’s Private Bank offers classic wealth management solutions, including planning and investment management, to help you ensure your money lasts your entire life and can be passed to your heirs.

Its products include:

  • Premium checking accounts and savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Competitive lending and mortgage rates facilitated through your banker

Americans who travel abroad for vacation or work can use its foreign exchange services in over 100 currencies to send or receive international payments.

Wells Fargo Private Bank also offers dedicated services for law firms and partners. These services include treasury management, escrow services, corporate trust management, settlement fund services, and equipment leasing and financing.

In addition, Wells Fargo Private Bank can also offer specialty asset management, like art collections and even oil and gas or mineral rights.

Oil and gas and mineral rights services include managing royalty and rental income, negotiating contracts and leases, monitoring drilling participating, and overseeing property tax payments and reporting.

4. UBS Wealth Management

UBS Wealth Management provides personal finance and banking services for rich people. This includes:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Commercial real estate financing

UBS Wealth Management can help set up long-term care options for future healthcare needs. It also offers retirement accounts, education planning for children and grandchildren, and general investment management and planning.

Learn how education plans, such as 529 plans, work.

UBS Wealth Management also provides business solutions, including assisting business owners with setting up retirement and equity plans and institutional consulting.

The financial institution offers specific services for athletes and entertainers, corporate officers, founders and entrepreneurs, and family offices to ensure personalized wealth handling. Some of the services offered specifically for entertainers are rights and returns services, helping to keep your music catalog under your control.

Newly wealthy people can enjoy a perk such as working with a private banker to determine how much of their new prosperity to share with family and friends. They can also set up a financial plan to ensure their money lasts a lifetime.

5. Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management

Goldman Sachs is primarily known as an investment banking company but also offers private wealth management services.

Focusing mainly on standard investment portfolios, trust and estate planning, lending, and philanthropy, Goldman Sachs requires a minimum account balance of $10 million or more in investable assets to open an account.

Because Goldman Sachs is primarily an investment-focused institution, most of its services are investment focused. Some of their services include:

  • Tax advantage and risk management planning
  • Alternative asset investments
  • Asset allocation and portfolio implementation

Goldman Sachs offers lending options for entrepreneurs, including cash management, credit lines or bridge financing, securities, asset-based lending, and mortgages or real estate loans.

Goldman Sachs is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a brokerage and investment advisor. Through their digital banking platform Marcus, Goldman Sachs is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate (FDIC), which insures deposits in banks up to a certain amount per account holder.

It's important to note that many of the assets held with private banks are investments and don’t carry the same FDIC insurance protection that personal checking and savings accounts offer. Be sure you clearly understand which parts of your portfolio and holdings with a private bank are not covered by FDIC insurance before investing.

6. Citi Private Bank

Citi Private Bank offers ultra-rich individuals and global investors private banking services worldwide. Its private banking services include wealth management for individuals and their families, family offices, foundations, and businesses.

To work with Citi Private Bank, individuals or businesses must have a minimum of $10 million to invest and a total net worth of at least $25 million.

Among its products, Citi Private Bank offers:

  • Higher deposit limits
  • Savings accounts
  • Lower transaction fees
  • Access to a private banker
  • Investment guidance
  • Alternative assets

Investment services include portfolio and risk management. These services focus on customers who need global services, not just in the United States.

Citi Bank has a network established in 162 countries across six continents. It assists more than 100 million customers globally and offers access to opportunities and services in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, which contains some of the world’s most prominent institutional investors.

7. HSBC Global Private Banking

HSBC Global also has an extensive international footprint, serving more than 62 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and Latin America.

It employs more than 500 investment professionals in 30 countries, and its services include features that many other banks provide. Still, they are focused more on high-net-worth individuals outside of the U.S.

HSBC Global Private Banking provides guidance and asset management services. Its discretionary portfolio management helps clients take a hands-off approach to their money and handles the day-to-day management of investments and funds through the private banker.

Asset allocation is suggested by a team of HSBC Global professionals who also works on rebalancing your portfolio to help you better handle risk based on your risk preferences.

If you live abroad or travel between countries frequently, HSBC Global offers an Expat Bank Account that can be set up in U.S. dollar, British pound, or euro. This can be especially helpful if you have assets in multiple currencies or need to travel extensively for work.

HSBC Global can even help you sell your business and provide guidance on handing over control to a new owner or family members inheriting a business from a founder.

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FAQ about banks that millionaires use

Are private banks worth it?

Using a private bank may be worth it if you meet the balance requirements. Private banking customers can benefit from working with one specific person or team that gets to know them and their financial situation. These services can make private banking a good choice for those who need wealth management services.

In addition, private banking often offers high-net-worth individuals opportunities to earn higher percentage yield rates on CDs or other accounts. It also offers access to investment professionals, estate attorneys, and accountants all in one place to help effectively manage wealth.

Is it legal to have an offshore account?

Having an offshore bank account on its own can be legal. Someone may prefer to keep money in an offshore or international bank account for legal reasons, including traveling back and forth for business or personal reasons.

If you aren’t trying to avoid paying taxes or other illegal reasons, you can generally have an offshore bank account, subject to the banking laws in other countries. You will still likely have to report and pay taxes to the U.S. government.

If you are considering opening an offshore bank account, work with an experienced lawyer familiar with international banking and tax law to help you ensure you’re setting everything up correctly.

How much money should I have to hire a wealth manager?

The minimum amount of wealth required to hire a wealth manager varies depending on the wealth manager, their experience, and the demand for their services. Some wealth managers may require a minimum of $500,000, $1 million, or more.

You can also access wealth management via banks. Many banks require at least $1 million in assets to qualify for private banking services, though some banks, like Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank, require more significant investments.

As you research potential private banking options, ask about any minimum balance requirements and what happens if you drop below the minimum balance.

Banks millionaires use: bottom line

Private banking can be a good option for high-net-worth individuals who need wealth management and prefer working with one institution for all their banking needs. Although the asset requirements and services differ at each bank, finding the right private bank to fit your needs can be invaluable.

As you search for a private bank, consider the most essential features and how you want to preserve your money. Then, research banks that fit your criteria and contact each one before choosing the right fit. Consider their services' fees and other costs and that you enjoy working with the people you encounter at each bank.

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Author Details

Kate Daugherty Kate Daugherty is a professional writer with a passion for providing others the head start they deserve on their financial journeys. Largely self-taught, Kate relied on books, blogs, and trial-and-error to learn how to budget and save for the future, all while working to pay back about $15,000 in student loans.