Only 90 private banks left in Switzerland?

KPMG Switzerland, together with the University of St. Gallen, analysed the performance of 83 private banks from Switzerland in 2020. Among other things, the following 5 conclusions were drawn from the study.

1. the gap between the strong and weak banks in terms of turnover has widened during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The stronger banks have shown remarkable resilience in the process. “The industry is drifting further apart and the differences are accentuating. Corona and its consequences for private banks have accentuated the trend,” said Christian Hintermann, of KPMG Partner Financial Services.
2. big banks are usually one step ahead in client acquisition. “They have managed to attract new clients and strengthen offshore business in Switzerland.” Reasons for this are seen in geopolitical uncertainties combined with Switzerland’s stable good reputation.
3 In addition, client acquisition, services and other offers were adapted and improved at an early stage. For example, big banks did good preparatory work, as the demand for advice from banks had increased during the pandemic. “The big banks were very successful, smaller institutions lost client assets,” Hintermann said.
However, there are also successful exceptions among smaller private banks: “These are mostly specialised banks with a focused client base and offering that are extremely successful in their niche.” KPMG has not published any names in this regard, as this would affect the advisory business in this sector.
Another reason why big banks have an advantage over smaller private banks is the lower average age of their clients. “When there is a generational change, it is often not said that the bank can meet the needs of the new generation and the assets migrate”, Rickert continues.

In the present study, 83 private banks were considered, which corresponds to about 84% of the sector.

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