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July 20, 2020updated 21 Aug 2020 12:56pm

UBP profit and AuM slip on COVID-19 turmoil

Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has posted a dip in net profit and assets under management (AuM) in H1 2020 amid market turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Net profit for UBP in H1 2020 dropped to CHF107.6m from CHF117.2m a year earlier.

However, trading boom led to a 4% rise in revenues, which grew to CHF557m in the first six months of 2020 from CHF533.2m in the prior year.

UBP’s operating profit soared 20% year-on-year to CHF130.6m.

Operating expenses dropped to CHF360.9m from CHF363.9m over the period due to UBP’s strict cost control.

AuM dropped CHF137.2bn at the end of June 2020, down 2% compared with CHF140.3bn at the end of 2019

However, the bank also piled on net new assets of CHF3.7bn, primarily from private clients.

The bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio at the end of June 2020 was 27.5% while its short-term liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) at the end of the period stood at 254%.

UBP CEO Guy de Picciotto said: “Against a background of an economic shutdown and an unprecedented public health crisis, we have remained close to our clients while experiencing a high level of activity in many business lines.

“We should not, however, underestimate the severe contraction in the real economy, which has led us to adopt a relatively cautious investment strategy for the next few months.”

Headquartered in Geneva, UBP caters to both private as well as institutional clients. The bank operates in more than 20 locations across the globe and has staff strength of 1,796.

In June 2020, UBP joined forces with Australian equity specialist Bell Asset Management (Bell AM) to access each other’s markets.

The strategic partnership will allow the private bank to market its flagship asset management strategies in Australia.

These strategies include fixed income solutions such as high-yield, convertible, and emerging market bonds.

They also include hedge funds, ‘cat bonds’, private markets, as well as ESG and impact investing solutions.

UBP’s new Australian branch, with Olivier Marion in charge, will support the new tie-up.

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