Private Bank Salvages Some Of UBS' Tattered Dignity, Does Very Little For Its Bottom Line

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It's been a tough few months (years, really) for our neutral friends. There's the LIBOR thing, the nobody wants towork here thing, the cutbacks, the "bitch set me up" thing, the petty vandalism thing, the ongoing tax evasion (formerly one of its chief businesses) thing, the mortgage-backed securities fraud thing, the Facebook proving you have no business being in the equity capital markets thing, the casual anti-Semitism thing, the paying people in high-trigger CoCos thing, the rogue trader losing $2 billion thing, and then, last month, this slap in the face.

And while UBS certainly cannot give as good as it gets, it has evened the score with BriMoy and the rest of the Charlotte bullies. Unfortunately, this has done very little to actually make UBS more money, but it knows how to do what it needs to do to have it make it more money.

UBS won back the title of largest private bank in the world as inflows of fresh client funds surged last year, indicating restored confidence following the financial crisis, according to a study.

The Swiss bank displaced Bank of America Corp from the top spot in an annual benchmark compiled by London-based wealth management consultant Scorpio Partnership. It edged out the U.S. bank with 9.7 percent growth in overall assets to $1.705 trillion, compared with 5.9 percent at Bank of America….

Overall, private banks won 24 percent more net new money, which represents a dramatic turnaround. Financial providers to the wealthy had struggled to win back client confidence in the wake of the global financial crisis.

However, the inflows have not yet translated to greater profits, which rose only 5.3 percent, according to Scorpio. This means private banks must still cut costs to lift profitability….

U.S. banks Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley as well as Switzerland's Credit Suisse round out the top five in the Scorpio benchmark.

UBS once again the world's largest private bank as assets surge [Reuters]

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