The Private Banking Division of the LLB Group is divided into local asset management business with wealthy clients in the domestic markets as well as cross-border asset management with foreign clients. The business focus lies on the onshore markets of Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria, the traditional cross-border core markets of Germany and the rest of Western Europe, and on the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In 2014, the Private Banking Division attained operating income of CHF 100.3 million (2013: CHF 108.2 million). Client assets under management rose to CHF 16.6 billion (2013: CHF 15.8 billion).
In the onshore and growth markets, the Private Banking Division posted solid inflows of client money totalling CHF 427 million. Our strategy of more than just compensating for the outflows amounting to CHF 427 million in the traditional cross-border markets is proving successful. We are continually expanding our market-specific product offers. Our wealthy clients in the Gulf states value our local business presence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Our clients in Central and Eastern Europe are looked after from Vienna in Austria and from Switzerland. The Swiss banking industry enjoys a high reputation for safety and reliability.
In order to reduce operational complexity, and to respond to the ever stricter regulatory framework, above all in the cross-border markets, the LLB has decided to withdraw from its business with clients in certain markets in 2015. This concentration of resources will bring improved efficiency and productivity.
Advisory services are a core competence
Private banking clients are frequently well-informed, experienced and professional investors. They expect close contacts with their bank, as well as professional and comprehensive advice from specialist, friendly advisers, which helps them to achieve better investment returns than they could attain by themselves. The LLB Group believes that the quality of services, the performance of investment products, the stability of the bank and the confidence of our clients in our many years of private banking expertise are key success factors.
The Private Banking Division of the LLB Group already offers comprehensive advice, which informs clients about the risks associated with investments and presents them with individual, tailor-made solutions. It is therefore in line with issues related to investor protection. Regulatory developments are focused increasingly on client protection, they aim to ensure that clients receive advice appropriate to their knowledge and competence. Accordingly, our client advisers place their investment recommendations in the overall context of the investor.
In recent years, the regulatory and macro-economic environments have changed radically. Today, the quality of advice and transparent pricing are more important than ever. At the same time, the digital revolution is providing new relationship possibilities with our clients. Consequently, in 2014 the LLB Group made major investments in the training of its client advisers and in the investment and advisory processes (see the chapter “”).