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UBS wealth management assets in Asia-Pac push past 300b Swiss franc mark
STRONG inflows and portfolio performance have pushed UBS Wealth Management's Asia-Pacific invested assets past the 300 billion Swiss franc threshold for the first time.
On a year-on-year basis, assets under management in the region rose about 17 per cent per cent in the quarter ended March 31 to 311 billion Swiss francs, compared to 266 billion francs at end-March 2016. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the growth was about 6.5 per cent, from 292 billion francs at end-December.
Adjusted profit before tax grew more than 30 per cent to 263 million francs on year-on-year basis. Asia-Pacific's contribution to wealth management operating profits (excluding the Americas) was 36 per cent in the first quarter.
This year may deliver even more robust results. Edmund Koh, UBS head of wealth management (Asia Pacific), says there is a growing trend among clients to consolidate their accounts among fewer banks, spurred by the common reporting standards initiative by G-20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This is an internationally agreed standard for the automatic exchange of information on financial accounts, an effort to deter and detect tax evasion.
Said Mr Koh: "The automatic exchange of information has a big impact. Customers are looking to consolidate their accounts as it is a hassle to have so many banks.''
Clients will be asked to give information to establish tax residency status. To date Singapore has inked bilateral agreements on automatic information exchange with several jurisdictions including the UK, Japan and Spain.