Switzerland's Raiffeisen eyes firms managing assets up to 30 billion Swiss francs

ZURICH Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:17am EDT

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss lender Raiffeisen is open to making acquisitions in private banking and asset management, potentially targeting firms handling assets of 20 billion to 30 billion Swiss francs ($22-33 bln), its chief was quoted as saying on Saturday.

"We are looking at everything that comes onto the market," Raiffeisen Chief Executive Pierin Vincenz told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft.

He said it was easier to grow in the asset management sector than private banking at the moment, due to uncertainty surrounding tax issues.

"Additional assets under management of 20 billion to 30 billion Swiss francs are easily conceivable," Vincenz said.

Asked whether the Swiss cooperative lender would consider buying the international arm of private bank Coutts, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, Vincenz said the dossier was very complex and "not for us".

Royal Bank of Scotland said on Monday it was considering selling the Coutts international unit, a deal one source said could net it as much as $1 billion.

The Swiss National Bank said on Wednesday it was adding Raiffeisen to a list of too-big-to-fail banks that come under closer supervision.

Vincenz gave no further details on the targets Raiffeisen would have to fulfill as a result of this classification, but said it was consulting with Swiss financial regulator FINMA.

The rules will not affect the lender's strategy for growth and business diversification, he said.

(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Sophie Hares)