Why a Priority Banking Account Makes Sense in a Recession

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 24 July, 2023

Want to make your money work harder for you? A priority banking account might be the right choice amidst a recession. Here’s why.

As a potential recession lurks around the corner, the golden question arises: Where is the best place to park my money?

Everyone is scrambling to make their money work harder for them, be it in high-yield savings accounts, DIY investing or endowment plans. And truthfully, the answer differs for everyone. In reality, there is no magic formula to make your money double.

However, what we can suggest is a priority banking account for those who have large sums of investible assets. Not only are you able to access a wide range of curated financial products not accessible to the masses, you’ll also have a dedicated relationship manager and wealth experts to manage your finances for you and tide through the recession. If not now, then when?

Here are some reasons why a priority banking account might make sense for you in a recession:

Read more:
Best Priority Banking Accounts in Singapore (2023)
A Full Guide To Priority Banking In Singapore (2023)
Priority Banking Benefits In Singapore (2023)
Priority Banking In Singapore: Does It Help To Grow Your Wealth?

#1 Your money is working harder for you

It is as clear as day that during a recession, your main priority would be to preserve and grow your finances. Emergency savings suddenly become more important than ever in cases of emergencies or unexpected unemployment.

Cue priority banking accounts that can help elevate your finances though in exchange for seven digits worth of investable assets. Since you’re given a VIP status as a priority banking customer, you have access to a range of financial products and services that normal status bankers don’t have.

For starters, priority banking accounts usually offer higher preferential interest rates and usually have a higher cap to enjoy maximum interest rates than regular savings accounts. However, you’ll have to contact the specific banks to enquire more as they are pretty hush-hush about it.

As for Citi Wealth First Account, you’ll get to earn up to 7.51% p.a. on up to your first S$150,000, depending on your relationship with Citi. Banks also offer preferential rates on investment and insurance products inaccessible to the masses.

On top of higher interest rates, some banks offer professionally-managed investments, especially for Accredited Investors and other investment products like fixed deposits, unit trusts, equities, stocks and shares. Some also offer exclusive access to a host of educational materials to level up your financial literacy, like DBS Treasures, and timely market updates and insights from their teams like Standard Chartered.

But do note that different banks offer very different perks to their customers, and you’ll have to read up on each bank and their offerings specifically.

Prefer to go the DIY route? You can consider signing up for a brokerage account.


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#2 You have access to a dedicated relationship manager

One of the main draws of a priority banking account is also a dedicated relationship manager that can help you go through your financial portfolio, identify any potential pitfalls and advice on how and where you can make gains. He or she can manage your wealth on your behalf, so you can literally be hands-off.

If you’re at a loss about where the direction of your finances should be headed, your relationship manager can also plan out some possible financial goals and make sure you’re kept on track. They’ll be able to use their wealth of expertise and carve out some financial strategies to help you achieve your goals.

Furthermore, especially in a recession where cash is tight, relationship managers can help you save on taxes as well, legally. In reality, there are many legal loopholes and ways that the wealthy can avoid paying too much taxes, like moving their money overseas and buying up certain asset classes. These are some things that your relationship manager can do because of their insights and in-depth knowledge, allowing you to accumulate wealth faster.

Alongside your dedicated relationship manager, you’ll also have access to their team of wealth experts to offer you personalised financial advice, from investing to legacy planning and all things finance-related.

#3 You get to enjoy lifestyle benefits

Of course, being in a recession doesn’t mean that you have to halt all spending and any sense of enjoyment in life. On the more fun side of things, you’ll also get to experience a host of lifestyle benefits that come with your priority banking status.

Those who travel frequently, whether for leisure or for business trips, will especially enjoy luxurious airport lounge access to many airports all over the world, not just Singapore, as well as complimentary limousine services to and fro the airport. Banks vary in the number of times you have access, from twice all the way up to unlimited access.

Another nifty concession is priority queues at banks. We all can relate to how long queues at the banks can be if you need assistance with any of their banking services. You can now say goodbye to snaking queues as you can access their private counters as a priority banking customer.

Other benefits include complimentary golf games, shopping and dining discounts, hotel discounts, exclusive invitations to events, healthcare privileges, and the list goes on.

More on this topic:
​​Perks Of Having A Priority Banking Relationship Manager
Privilege Banking: What's In It For You and Your Money
Priority vs Private Banking: What You Will Enjoy Crossing The Finish Line
Normal Banking Vs Priority Banking: Which Should I Choose?
5 Signs To Tell You're Ready For Priority Banking

#4 Lesser fees

As a priority banking customer, it also means that you can get to skip out on certain fees for selected services. Some banks offer fee waivers for service fees, management fees, chequebook fees for bank accounts, remittance fees and ATM card replacement fees.

While these are usually just small amounts, you won’t have to worry about all these pesky charges that you’ll have to foot if you weren’t a priority banking customer. And if you add these charges, they can actually amount to a significant sum in the long run.

But with that said, this is just a small added benefit that is not usually a major appeal of being a priority banking customer. 

#5 Your family can also enjoy the Premier status

While this doesn’t apply to all banks, certain banks like HSBC Premier allow your priority banking status to be extended to your family, including your spouse and children below a certain age. 

This can be extremely useful as your family can also take advantage of the insights from the wealth team and your relationship manager and help focus on your family’s finances as a whole rather than just your own, which is especially crucial during a recession. If you’re thinking of kickstarting a savings account or an investment portfolio for your children, your relationship manager will be able to pick out products specific to your child’s needs.

On that note, DBS Treasures has its own DBS Wealth Concierge that can help out with your kid’s education. They’ll help your child source for short-term online courses and offer preparatory assistance and consultancy in school applications. They’ll even aid in searching for accommodation and rental assistance overseas if your child wishes to study abroad. 

HSBC Premier also offer similar services like complimentary university consultations from their partners and instant emergency funds from any HSBC branch in the world.

Comparison of priority banking accounts in Singapore


Minimum AUM/TRB


CIMB Preferred


  • Preferential rates
  • Host of insurers and investment houses to choose from
  • Dedicated relationship manager and investment specialists
  • Curated monthly insights
  • Complimentary airport lounge access and exclusive invites to bespoke events



  • Personalised wealth management
  • In-depth understanding of markets, trends and opportunities
  • Exclusive range of wealth solutions
  • LIfestyle benefits including discounts at restaurants ans hotels 

DBS Treasures


  • Live market updates and research insights
  • Professionally managed investment products
  • Discounts for airport lounge access 
  • Healthcare privileges

HSBC Premier


  • Digital wealth solutions
  • Preferential rates for savings, loans and mortgages
  • Latest outlook and wealth insights
  • Fee-free international transfers
  • Overseas education support
  • Premier status for spouse and up to three children

Maybank Premier


  • Personalised financial advice
  • Exclusive range of financial products and services
  • Preferential rates and treatment at Maybank branches
  • Exclusive invites to private events
  • Deals and discounts with partners

OCBC Premier Banking


  • Preferential fees and charges for selected transitions
  • In-depth insights from OCBC Wealth Panel
  • Array of digital wealth management solutions
  • Enjoy OCBC Premier Visa Infinite Credit Card perks and cashback

Standard Chartered Priority Banking


  • Receive personalised financial advice
  • Host of digital wealth solutions including investing on-the-go
  • Access timely market updates from Welath Management experts

UOB Wealth Banking


  • Advisory for your wealth goals
  • Dedicated wealth banking centres
  • Exclusive invites to UOB events 
  • Discounts with partnered brands


Read these next:
UOB Premier Banking / Privilege Banking Review
Citigold Review 2023: Citi Privilege Banking Benefits
DBS Treasures Singapore Review
OCBC Premier Banking Singapore Review
Standard Chartered Priority Banking Review

A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke


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