UBS named world's largest private bank

10 July 2013

UBS is the world's largest private bank again after leapfrogging the Bank of America, according to a study.

The annual benchmark compiled by UK-based wealth management consultant Scorpio Partnership revealed an influx of fresh clients saw its funds surge last year.

UBS edged out the US institution with a 9.7 per cent increase in overall assets to $1.705 trillion, compared with 5.9 per cent at Bank of America.

However, the rise in clients has not yet translated to larger profits, which lifted by just 5.3 per cent, according to the study. This will likely lead to the private bank cutting costs to boost profitability.

UBS said in October it would axe 10,000 staff and scale back its riskier investment banking division in favour of its private bank.

Overall, private banks brought in 24 per cent more net new money than the previous period. Financial institutions offering services to the very wealthy have been struggling to win back client confidence and trust after the global financial crisis took hold.

By Claire Archer

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