Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) reported a flat income in 2020, despite a significant reduction in net interest margins amid declining US rates.

However, the bank recorded inflows across all markets including Switzerland, the UK, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. This drove a 5% growth in assets under management (AUM).

How the bank fared in 2020

The bank’s AUM rose CHF7.1bn to CHF147.4bn, with net inflows doubling from the previous year to CHF8.97bn and strong performance in funds and mandates.

Total operating income stood at CHF1.07bn at the end of 2020, 0.4% higher than the previous year.

This was compensated by a 9% rise in income from fees and commissions to CHF58.8m.

The Geneva-based bank’s operating expenses dipped slightly to CHF718.4m, despite the investments including in digital capabilities as well as team expansion. This was driven by a fall in general and administrative expenses.

Amid challenging market conditions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank managed to post a 9% growth in operating result to CHF220.01m from CHF202.36m.

Net profits fell 3% year-on-year to CHF181.44m. If stripping out the prior’s year one-off gain from a real estate transaction, net profits rose 2%.

The cost/income ratio was 67.1% at the end of 2020, versus 67.9% a year ago.

Its Tier 1 ratio of 27.7% at 2020-end was said to be well above the minimum requirements, compared to 25.6% in 2019. Its short-term liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) was 307.5% at the end of last year.

UBP CEO Guy de Picciotto said: “Our teams’ adaptability and proactivity have enabled us to keep offering appropriate investment solutions in this unprecedented context, while maintaining high-quality services for all our clients worldwide.

“We are determined to continue to invest and expand our presence in our key markets.”