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Crisis Forces Private Banks Into Humiliating Standards

The financial crisis has taken its toll on a lot of people. Fortunes have been erased, companies lost, and careers ruined. The world of private banking has certainly not been immune to the phenomenon. With some of the ultra-rich taking enough of a hit to make them wonder if they're still considered ultra, private banks are reaching out to the new normal's definition of rich for clients. Once upon you needed at least $1 million in assets to walk in the door of a place like Julius Baer. But times have changed and changed dramatically.

"We would also take people with 800,000 (Swiss francs)," said Boris Collardi, the company's chief executive, referring to the amount potential clients could invest.

For those only possessing CHF 750,000 or so, Collardi wants you to know the last 50,000 will be well worth your while

"It's a bit like the nice chic restaurant on Rue du Rhone you walk by 10 times and you think: 'I am not so sure I can go in there, it might be a bit sophisticated,'" Collardi said, referring to an upmarket street in Geneva. "And then you end up going in there and you have a wonderful meal."

Private banks reach out to the less wealthy [Reuters]