Financial Results

UBP: Stronger Swiss Franc A Drag On H1 Results, Integration Of Coutts International On Track

Amisha Mehta, Assistant Editor, London, 28 July 2015

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The Geneva-based private bank said Switzerland's central bank policy move had weighed down earnings in its mid-year results statement.

Switzerland's Union Bancaire Privée called attention to a stronger Swiss franc as it reported a three per cent year-on-year dip in net earnings to SFr79.5 million ($82.4 million) for the first half of the year.

The half-year began with a surge in the exchange rate of the Swiss franc when the Swiss National Bank removed the cap against the euro.

It has been an eventful six months for UBP with the acquisition of Coutts International, the non-UK private banking and wealth businesses of Royal Bank of Scotland, in March. The bank said the roll-out of the integration was on schedule.

Last month, it confirmed it would be cutting 60 to 110 jobs in Switzerland initially after the Coutts transaction.

Excluding assets from Coutts International, UBP's assets under management, largely held in foreign currencies, fell 1.8 per cent to SFr 93.1 billion. UBP is estimated to have acquired more than SFr30 billion of assets from the Coutts buy.

“With 80 per cent of our assets being denominated in foreign currencies, the strengthening of the Swiss franc has been a significant drag on our revenues,” said UBP’s chief executive, Guy de Picciotto, in the results statement. 

“The impact of this has been estimated to be SFr 20 million over the first six months of the year, and it could increase in the second half of 2015.” 

Still, UBP generated net inflows of more than SFr 2 billion from both institutional and private clients. The bank said “solid trading activity” helped keep income steady at SFr 379.5 million at the end of June, down marginally from SFr 380.8 million the previous year.

UBP's tier one capital ratio stood at 30.5 per cent at the end of June.

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