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Banks

Swiss private banks see asset influx after U.S. election: Baer CEO

CEO Boris Collardi of Swiss private bank Julius Baer gestures as he addresses a news conference to present the bank's half-year results in Zurich, Switzerland July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss private banks have profited from rising stock markets and renewed client optimism since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, Julius Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi said on Thursday.

“We have seen client interest in financial markets increasing,” Collardi told Reuters. “With stocks going up, you have assets going up, transaction volumes going up, which is all a positive for the banks because we have more assets, more revenues.”

Over the medium to long term, banks also stand to gain from deregulation in a sector increasingly saddled with mounting compliance efforts since the 2008 financial crisis, he said.

Speaking earlier at a conference in Berne about the implications of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, Collardi warned Switzerland should not unnecessarily cut off any negotiating possibilities amid a changing political landscape and uncertain future for the EU.

While the consequences of Brexit will remain manageable for Swiss banks in the foreseeable future, Switzerland stands little chance of gaining significantly from the weakness of London’s financial center, he said.

This year would be a year of many changes and he expected consolidation in Europe’s banking sector over the medium term.

“As long as the cost of money remains low and stock valuations go up, we could be in a positive environment for M&A,” Collardi said.

“We still have overcapacity in the European banking sector. I could imagine that some of the Swiss banks, based on their strength, may continue to take advantage of international M&A opportunities.”

Editing by Mark Heinrich

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