(Bloomberg News) Barclays Plc's wealth management unit plans to increase its banking staff in Asia by about 50 percent by the end of next year as it targets the growing population of millionaires in the region.

"In our wealth management business, Asia's growing the fastest and should continue to grow the fastest," Thomas Kalaris, chief executive officer of Barclays Wealth, told reporters in Hong Kong today. "It's the fastest growing region for any private bank in the world."

The London-based unit, which has now more than 100 bankers in Hong Kong, Singapore and India, also aims to increase revenue in Asia by more than 30 percent annually in the next three years, Kalaris said.

Barclays Wealth and rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co. are competing to hire bankers in Asia, where over the next five years, wealth outside Japan may rise almost twice as fast as the global rate of almost 6 percent, the Boston Consulting Group predicted in May. Asia-Pacific millionaires outnumbered those in Europe for the first time last year, according to a survey by CapGemini SA and Bank of America Corp.

JPMorgan, based in New York, is hiring 100 advisors to wealthy Asians this year and next, adding to the 140 employed at the end of 2010, Andrew Cohen, the Hong Kong-based head of private banking for ultra-high net worth individuals in Asia, said in June.

Barclays Wealth seeks to hire senior bankers who have at least 10 years of experience offering private banking services in the region, particularly in China, India and Indonesia, where the bank is putting the most resources, Kalaris said.