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[ZURICH] Swiss private bank Julius Baer has taken a "commercial approach" to negative interest rates, Chief Executive Boris Collardi told a Swiss newspaper, splitting costs between the bank, its customers and the employees who advise them. "One part of negative interest is carried by the bank, one part by the client and one part by the client adviser," Mr Collardi said in an interview with the Neue Zuercher Zeitung published on Wednesday.
Advisers were able to offset their portion of negative rates through services, products and transactions within the same client relationship, Mr Collardi said.
The bank's finance chief, Dieter Enkelmann, said in February the bank may start passing on negative interest rates for euro deposits to customers.
The bank had already been charging institutional clients for Swiss franc deposits at the time but, like almost all other Swiss banks, did not impose charges on private customers unless they held especially large cash positions.
The report on Wednesday did not specify the types of customers to whom negative rates were passed on or the currencies for which the policy applied.
Mr Collardi said the franc's tendency to appreciate against all other currencies justified customers' preference for it.
"Our customers share an almost amorous relationship with the franc. Often, they're unreceptive to recommendations that they invest their money in other currencies," Mr Collardi said.