UBP eyes joint ventures in Asia, but pauses in acquisitions

UNION Bancaire Privee (UBP) may explore joint ventures to fuel further expansion in the private banking and institutional client space, but it has pressed the "pause" button for now on acquisitions.

The Swiss bank on Wednesday marked the completion of its acquisition of Coutts International. The group has assets under management of 130 billion Swiss francs (S$19.6 billion), of which Asia accounts for 14 billion Swiss francs.

UBP chief executive Guy de Picciotto said in a press briefing that the acquisition of Coutts gave the group an Asian footprint which it did not have previously.

"We intend to grow both parts (private banking and institutional business) in the coming years maybe through joint ventures in the institutional space and also private banking with selective hires to try to build on the platform that Coutts has been able to deliver to us. . .

"Now after a couple of deals over the past three to four years, we need to pause a bit to integrate the systems and bankers and culture."

Over the past few years, UBP has bought up the Swiss operations of ABN Amro and Lloyds Banking Group. It is one of the best capitalised banks in Switzerland with a Tier 1 ratio of 24 per cent.

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