© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Julius Baer Chief Executive Philipp Rickenbacher addresses the Finanz und Wirtschaft Forum conference in Zurich, Switzerland September 2, 2020 REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
ZURICH (Reuters) – Julius Baer is having “constructive discussions” with Credit Suisse staff who are looking to leave following their bank’s takeover by UBS, the Swiss private bank’s Chief Executive said in an interview on Monday.
Philipp Rickenbacher also told the Financial Times he was seeing a “movement of clients to quality” in Switzerland as wealthy account holders pulled back from UBS and Credit Suisse, whose business models include riskier investment banking activities.
The takeover, engineered by Swiss authorities last month, would be difficult, he told the newspaper. “An integration of that order of magnitude in Switzerland is going to take a lot of resources and effort, and a lot of complexity.”
Julius Baer is Switzerland’s largest private bank. It works on behalf of wealthy individuals and does not speculate with its own capital or run its own in-house asset management business.
“Our model . . . has worked very well for us,” Rickenbacher said.
“We have hiring opportunities in Latin America, we have hiring opportunities in Asia …and … in Europe and in Switzerland,” he said.
He raised concerns about an ongoing crisis of confidence in the banking sector overall, highlighting recent interest rate hikes by central banks and the stresses they were creating.
“Things will remain very complicated — everything that was there a month ago will not go away,” Rickenbacher said.
“There’s still some room for policy mistakes at the highest levels when it comes to interest rates . . . Everyone’s senses are sharpened right now.”