Favorable financial markets boosted Swiss private bank performances. Confidence grew further as a result of crisis management measures successfully introduced due to COVID-19. The industry has an opportunity to build on this momentum for change, to deliver the benefits to secure its survival.
As well as our own analysis of banks’ performances, we interviewed 27 C-level executives to understand how the Swiss private banking industry has dealt with the COVID-19 crisis, and whether it will emerge stronger. These executives, who were mainly CEOs, were generally positive about the future. They noted how quickly crisis management plans were implemented, and how any significant operational disruption was avoided. Also how the changes have begun to deliver benefits for both banks and their clients.
Of course, it helps that 2019 was dominated by favorable financial markets, as AuM (assets under management) at Swiss banks grew to record levels. Banks had also made a concerted effort to improve the generation of NNM (net new money), with the result that NNM increased by 3% last year to reach its highest point for a decade.
This combination of our annual analysis and feedback from CEOs leads me to make six observations about the current state of Swiss private banks: