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Private Banking vs. Wealth Management: Key Differences

Young Couple meeting with a Wealth Advisor

If you think that private banking and wealth management are pretty much the same thing, we’ll admit that they do look similar on the surface—and to confuse the two even further, several areas do overlap. While both services can help you build and manage your assets, they fulfill different requirements depending on your unique financial needs. 

Private banking means that financial institutions and banks will offer clients exclusive access to a suite of their products and services. That might include retirement planning and investment-related advice, and it also comes with the bonus of skipping the line at the bank, but private bankers typically won’t deal with your actual investments. A private banker will have a friendly relationship with you—they’ll know your name, your financial account details, and they might even ask you about your family over a cup of coffee. 

On the other hand, wealth management firms offer extremely personalized advice, financial planning, and ongoing portfolio management. A wealth manager might be a better option for a well-rounded approach to your investments by providing up-to-date investment advice, recommendations, and the actual implementation of a strategy.

Like private banking, this happens on a one-to-one basis, but unlike private banking your wealth management advisors are invested in getting to know you; who you are, what you’re working toward, and what matters to you most in your life. They then will work with you to build customized investment strategies based on all of those factors to protect what you’ve built, maximize your wealth potential, and put you on track to pursuing your life goals and dreams.

Another significant difference between private banking and wealth management is that private banking will typically offer a limited number of “off-the-shelf”-style financial products. Also, that bank or financial institution will probably only offer you their specific products, rather than presenting you with multiple options and explorations. The tendency to push their products might lead to a conflict of interest or leave you unsure of whether you’re getting a variety of possible options for your financial situation.

Where private bankers are restricted, a wealth manager may have more freedom to provide you with a variety of options, products, and services that suit your needs, rather than meeting the needs of an institution. This client-centric approach is ideal for anyone who wants the certainty and reassurance of knowing they have a trusted team member who is looking out for their best interests and presenting them with the best options.

Selecting a private banking service is as simple as choosing your preferred financial institution. You’ve probably already been with them for years, and starting the process is as easy as walking through the door. However, when you want more than fast-track banking, look for a wealth management firm that uses an integrated approach and one that demonstrates an interest and investment in building a long-standing relationship with you. 

At Hapanowicz and Associates, we’ll work with you to integrate your financial plan, your advisors, and your portfolio to help you pursue your vision and create a path to financial success that is uniquely yours.

To learn more about our wealth management philosophy, contact us by calling 412-261-5966 or feel free to email me directly at


Talk with an advisor.

Engage with a qualified partner for financial guidance built on loyalty, empathy, and integrity.

Talk with an advisor.

Engage with a qualified partner for financial guidance built on loyalty, empathy, and integrity.