The new head of Barclays' Swiss unit is pushing private bankers in Geneva and Zurich to double client assets in four years as international competitors exit the world’s largest hub for offshore wealth.
Bloomberg News reports that James Buchanan-Michaelson, who joined from Coutts International in June, aims to increase Swiss assets, including loans, to $29.8bn by 2019 to boost the fortunes of a unit that’s barely breaking even.
'The aspiration is to double the size of the Swiss business', Buchanan-Michaelson, 49, said in an interview at the firm’s offices in Geneva. 'It’s a hard stretch for bankers to try and achieve that'.
Lloyds Banking Group, ABN Amro and Morgan Stanley are among international firms that quit Switzerland’s private-banking market in recent years as tax authorities in the U.S. and Europe led an assault on bank secrecy and the franc’s strength crimped profit margins.
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