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PwC attacks Asian banking practices

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive has attacked the Asian banking industry, telling a conference in Singapore that it had not learnt the lessons of the financial crisis.

Justin Ong, PwC head of Asia Pacific wealth management, said that the sales-driven culture of the Asian markets was leading to clients taking high risks in an attempt to regain money lost last year.

He told the Reuters Global Wealth Management summit: "If lessons are not learnt ... the next time a crisis comes, and it will come, you are going to hit a bottom that is even lower."

In Hong Kong last year, the collapse of Lehman Brothers saw 16 banks pay out more than $800 million to customers who had lost a combined $2.5 billion through investing in toxic bonds.

Mr Ong added that banks needed to come up with new revenue models that would reward a focus on client performance rather than making earnings by pushing products.

By Gary Cooper