SINGAPORE (Dec 31): Ten years ago, stock markets plunged, major banks faltered and the global economy teetered on a precipice. Few would have predicted that the ensuing decade would produce an explosion in wealth.

But that is just what happened. An unprecedented infusion of central bank funds into the world’s largest economies bolstered asset prices, making many people richer and exacerbating inequality. Global personal wealth reached a record US$201.9 trillion ($277 trillion) last year, according to Boston Consulting Group.

For some banks, this burgeoning affluence brightened an otherwise dreary post-crisis landscape. Giants including UBS GroupMorgan Stanley and Bank of America seized the opportunity. With trading desks hamstrung by a flurry of new rules, banks set out to woo the growing ranks of the super-rich.

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