February 27, 2013 / 8:10 AM / 5 years ago

EFG private bank swings profit after ditching loss-making units

* Assets under management rise to 78.7 billion

* Margin rises to 105 basis points from 94 bp

* Bank proposes unchanged dividend of 0.10 Sfr

ZURICH, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Private bank EFG International swung to a net profit in 2012 after shutting unprofitable businesses and cutting the number of its private bankers.

The mid-sized wealth manager reported a profit of 111 million Swiss francs ($119.2 million) in 2012 from a 294 million franc loss a year earlier.

“All loss-making businesses have been exited, with the number of locations reduced by 20,” the Zurich-based bank said in a statement.

EFG has restructured since Chief Executive John Williamson took the helm in 2011, shutting offices, including those in the Swiss cities of Sion and Lugano. Last year, it sold its fund administration unit to Credit Agricole’s CAECIS, and EFG Bank Denmark to SEB Wealth Management, as well as listing its structured products business.

EFG slashed the number of its private bankers to 477 from 675 two years ago.

The bank’s assets under management rose to 78.7 billion francs at year-end as 3 billion francs of new assets in continuing businesses offset funds lost from units sold or closed.

Assets stood at 76.5 billion at the end of June, when EFG said its restructuring process was largely complete. The bank said it would propose an ordinary dividend of 0.10 Swiss francs per share, unchanged from 2011.

EFG’s margin jumped to 105 basis points from 94 basis points a year earlier, while the bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio - a measure of financial strength - rose to 18.1 percent from 12.9 percent.

The wealth manager faces competition at home from rivals Vontobel and Sarasin, now owned by Brazilian-Swiss bank Safra. ($1 = 0.9315 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Martin de Sa‘Pinto; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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