Private-banking competition fierce between UBS and Credit Suisse
(24 June 2015 – Switzerland) Two of Switzerland’s fierce rival global banks, Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG are competing for more private-banking business by revamping the way they service the wealthy.
Since taking over in 2011, UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti has scaled back investment banking to focus on wealth management, a move that investors have encouraged.
Meanwhile Credit Suisse has continued its bigger trading business, as investors ask the bank to scale back the investment bank.
UBS shares are up about 36 percent since the end of 2008, while Credit Suisse’s are down 7 percent, even though the smaller bank survived the financial crisis with fewer losses.
Credit Suisse is the fourth-biggest private bank by assets under management, behind number two, Bank of America Corp. and number three, Morgan Stanley, according to an annual ranking.
Its assets of 861.2 billion Swiss francs ($1211 billion) at the end of March were less than half of UBS’s 1.99 trillion francs.
The rivalry is getting fiercer as both banks target the ultra-rich, estimated to be number at around 200,000 worldwide.
Both companies have hired new chief investment officers, introduced contracts where clients pay for advice rather than transactions and have upgraded technology to aid their more affluent clients.