Julius Baer 'reacts swiftly' with huge cost-savings plan

Ribbon Cutting

Swiss private bank Julius Baer had 'reacted swiftly' to the recent appreciation of the Swiss currency by launching a cost savings program worth around 100 million Swiss franc ($108.03 million), the lender's CEO told CNBC.

The cuts come after the Swiss central bank scrapped its three-year-old peg of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro in the middle of January. Since the shock move, the Swiss currency has risen over 12 percent against the euro.

"We have decided to react swiftly. This is the package we believe is necessary for the time being," Julius Baer CEO Boris Collardi told CNBC.

However, he did not rule out further cuts, saying: "We can never rule out more adjustments on both sides."

The Zurich-based private bank said adjusted net profit rose 22 percent to 586 million francs, below expectations of 603 million francs in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"Personnel expenses will be decreased by a combination of a controlled hiring and resource reallocation as well as the elimination of approximately 200 positions through natural attrition and staff reductions predominantly in mid- and back-office functions," the bank said in a statement.

Net new money - fresh funds from wealthy clients - for the year was 5 percent, within its target of 4 to 6 percent. Assets under management stood at 291 billion francs at the end of 2014.

The bank also said it had decided to go ahead with renewing its IT global platforms and that it had selected Temenos to begin planning of its core banking platform replacement.

- Reuters contributed to this report.

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