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BANK

Swiss UBP to buy ABN AMRO Switzerland for undisclosed amount

Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee said on Tuesday it will purchase ABN AMRO Bank Switzerland for an undisclosed amount, increasing its assets under management by around 20 percent.

ABN AMRO Bank Switzerland is a Swiss private bank with assets of €11 billion and 350 staff in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Basel, UBP said in a press release.  

ABN AMRO explained in a statement that it had decided to “focus its private banking activities on strengthening its top 3 position in the eurozone and to accelerate its growth in Asian markets.”  

“As a consequence ABN AMRO has decided to divest its private banking activities in Switzerland,” it said.  

The sale is subject to Swiss regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, UBP added.

BANK

Credit Suisse slashes jobs, branches to move ‘online’

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-biggest bank, said Tuesday it would reorientate its domestic services towards digital banking, with a quarter of its Swiss branches to close and hundreds of jobs at risk.

Credit Suisse slashes jobs, branches to move 'online'
A Credit Suisse branch. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

“In the last two years alone, use of online banking at Credit Suisse has grown by approximately 40 percent, while the use of mobile banking has more than doubled,” the bank said in a statement.

“The COVID-19 crisis has further accelerated these trends. In contrast, the number of visits to branches has been declining for years.

“Credit Suisse will introduce a new digital offering and a future-oriented branch concept at the end of October.”

The bank also plans to merge the activities of regional subsidiary Neue Aargauer Bank with those under the Credit Suisse brand to avoid duplication.

READ: How to open a bank account in Switzerland 

With its realignment, the bank intends to reduce annual costs by around 100 million Swiss francs ($110 million, 93 million euros) from 2022 onwards. It plans to cut the number of bank branches from 146 to 109.

Meanwhile up to 500 jobs could be axed, Andre Helfenstein, head of the bank's operations within Switzerland, told reporters during a conference call.

The restructuring costs are expected to be 75 million Swiss francs. “Digitalisation is happening all around us,” Helfenstein said in a statement.

“The changes we are making to our branch network — while simultaneously investing in digital solutions and in advisory services for clients with more complex needs — represent a logical step forward.”

In late July, the bank's new chief executive Thomas Gottstein unveiled his plans for Credit Suisse, which involved regrouping its different investment bank activities.

Gottstein took charge in February after Tidjane Thiam was ousted over a massive spying scandal.

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