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LLB Annual Report 2020 de

Private Banking

Information checkedInformation geprüft Private Banking 

Stability and security, high product and service quality, as well as acknowledged investment performance are the hallmarks of the Private Banking segment. We gain the trust of our clients additionally thanks to first-class advisory competence, innovative digital applications and fair conditions.

Stability and security

The LLB Group has been one of the most secure and best capitalised universal banks in the world for many years. With its Aa2 deposits rating from Moody's, it belongs to the absolute top rank of financial institutes in Liechtenstein and in Switzerland (see chapter "Finance and risk management"). Its almost 160-year history makes LLB the longest established bank in Liechtenstein. Furthermore, with the Principality of Liechtenstein as its majority shareholder, it can rely on a solid ownership structure. Liechtenstein is one of the very few countries in the world to possess an AAA rating with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s. This excellent country rating for the entire Liechtenstein financial centre is an indicator of stability and reliability.

International presence – strong local ties

The Private Banking Division is internationally active and maintains strong local ties through its brands "Liechtensteinische Landesbank" and "Bank Linth". The LLB Group operates three booking centres and has a bank each in Liechtenstein, in Switzerland and in Austria. Our focus lies on the home markets of Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria, on our traditional cross-border markets of Germany and other parts of Western Europe, as well as on the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Clients meeting tax compliance requirements and the observance of prevailing local and international regulations are core elements of our cross-border banking. By providing intensive training, we ensure that our employees fulfil the regulations of the target countries and observe tax compliance rules within the scope of their cross-border activities.

One bank group – three home markets

Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria, as financial centres, possess a high potential to attract investors who are seeking security and stability for their investments. Consequently, for years we have posted very pleasing inflows of client assets in private banking from our three home regions – a development which continued impressively during the year under report despite the corona pandemic. At a local level, we are represented by three LLB bank branches in Liechtenstein, nineteen Bank Linth business locations in eastern Switzerland and one bank in Vienna, Austria.

Traditional cross-border markets

Germany – Europe’s largest private banking market – and other selected western European markets continue to be important for our asset management. We benefit here from our extensive experience and our clients’ trust in the quality of our services and the good performance of our asset management.

Central and Eastern Europe

Our Private Banking also looks after clients from the Central and Eastern European EU states, Russia and selected CIS states. These markets are covered specifically from our business locations in Zurich-Erlenbach, Geneva, Vaduz and Vienna. Especially in economically and politically uncertain times such as these, the stability and competence of the LLG Group offer clients from these regions great added value. In the year under report, we again increased the client assets we manage from these strategic target markets.

Middle East

The LLB Group has maintained a representative office in Abu Dhabi since 2005. In 2008, this was followed by our business base in Dubai. In recent years we have strengthened and significantly expanded our business presence in the Middle East. In order to better exploit the opportunities offered by this attractive market, we moved to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in summer 2019. Since then we have available much larger offices and also much more scope for our business operations.

Outstanding level of product and service quality

Following the migration of LLB Österreich to the Avaloq banking software, since the beginning of 2020 all the banks in the Group now operate a common core banking application. This has enabled us to make further progress in the automation of our processes and, at the same time thanks to the centralisation of administration procedures, to take advantage of synergies. In addition to the clients of LLB and Bank Linth, those of LLB Österreich can now also take advantage of the whole range of LLB Group products and services, including Online and Mobile Banking, the innovative "LLB Invest" investment advisory and asset management app, as well as "LLB Portfolio Analysis", the ground-breaking technological portfolio information system.

Asset management and investment advisory

Irrespective of whether clients prefer to delegate the management of their assets or actively make investment decisions themselves, with "LLB Invest" and "Bank Linth Invest" private and institutional clients can find a product offering tailored to suit their requirements at LLB. Depending on their requirements, our clients can decide what scope of service they wish to receive from us. This ranges from basic to expert solutions.

Various options are also available to them when it comes to investment strategies. In 2020, we added the "Sustainable" investment strategy to our range of offers. Using technology-supported continual monitoring of the portfolios, our private banking client advisers ensure the security of the investments and deliver performance in line with the selected strategy. This service has been very well received by our clients. Since the introduction of "LLB Invest" in 2016, the volume of asset management and investment advisory mandates has risen steadily (see chart). In 2020, we again succeeded in increasing the proportion of our LLB Invest services. From 2021, these services will also be offered at LLB Österreich. Furthermore, we are planning on introducing "LLB Invest" in the Middle East.

LLB Invest (in CHF billions)

Suitable products for every phase of life

With our "LLB Compass" and "Bank Linth Compass" services, we support private clients and entrepreneurs at all stages of life or the business cycle to help them achieve their future financial goals. LLB and Bank Linth therefore cover all the important themes such as wealth planning, financing facilities, retirement provisioning, real estate, taxation, estate planning and succession (see chapter "Responsibilities for the economy, society and environment").

Fair and transparent pricing

LLB AG and Bank Linth forego retrocessions both in the provision of investment advisory and asset management services, i.e. LLB does not accept commissions from external fund vendors for the distribution of their products to the bank. We transfer 100 per cent of these payments to our clients. We employ performance-related fees with various funds, as well as with asset and discretionary management mandates, which are only payable if a positive return is achieved. Our interest-related fees are another innovative feature, which takes into account the prevailing low level of interest rates. LLB’s tariff structures are simple and clear, costs are visible at a glance (see chapter "Responsibilities for society and the environment").

Tested advisory quality

We regularly receive awards for the high level of our advisory competence. Once again this year, in the independent comparison test carried out for the "Fuchsbriefe" publishing house, our client advisers attained top results. In addition to the  "very good" advisory quality, the test experts underlined our sustainability expertise in their assessment. In their opinion this was "exceptionally strong". On the permanent list of best vendors, we came in third place and are therefore among the leading private banking providers in the entire German-speaking region.

LLB Österreich was chosen as the best private bank in Austria by the professional journal "Börsianer". In the overall ranking for "Banks" it was placed third among fifty financial institutes. It was therefore able to prevail against the largest players on the market, once again true to its claim of being the leading asset management bank in Austria.

To ensure the quality of our advisory services, we continually invest in the training and professional education of our staff. Our client advisers must complete the certification programme according to the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ). In Austria, we provide training in line with the "European Investment Practitioner" (EIP) certificate programme recognised throughout the EU. We have added our own oral examination to this programme, thus upgrading it to comply with the LLB certificate and therefore the level of the SAQ certification (see chapter "Employees").

We have developed and launched a special training programme in relation to sustainable investments for our client advisers. This will ensure that all our client advisers have the necessary know-how in this busines so that they can keep pace with our expanded range of products and services (see chapter "Sustainability in banking business").

Highly sophisticated digital services

In continually analysing and monitoring client portfolios, our client advisers and analysts are supported by the latest technology. Highly sophisticated algorithms calculate the risk and return of individual financial instruments in order to enhance portfolio performance. Individual objectives and restrictions are automatically considered. If the risk / return characteristics of an investment do not fulfil the client’s criteria, the software flags up an alert. In 2020, we further expanded the functions of mobile und online banking applications. Clients of the LLB Group now have an overview of their assets everywhere and at all times. Numerous banking activities can now be carried out digitally and conveniently. The parallel offer of high quality personal advice together with digital services has proven its worth. An extensive client survey held in the year under report revealed a very positive assessment of both services.

Excellent investment performance

The Private Banking Division is supported by the specialists of LLB Asset Management, whose investment performance in competitive comparison is outstanding. This is confirmed by the international awards, which LLB regularly receives (see chapter "Institutional Clients"). The investment selection process for the portfolios follows the proprietary, multi-award-winning LLB quantitative investment concept, which we are continually refining and enhancing. As active managers, our Asset Management specialists are guided by benchmarks – with the goal of exceeding them in our own numerous funds and mandates. This applies in both asset management and for investment funds. As a further means of assuring quality, we continually invest in technology and the training of our investment experts.

In the year under report, the LLB Group further expanded and adapted its range of offers. For example, our asset management clients can now select from five different implementation types with "LLB Comfort". Depending on the client’s wishes investments can be made with a focus on Switzerland, global, alternative, sustainable or passive investments.

Focus on clients

In order to find out how satisfied our clients are with our product and service offering, as well as our advisory services, we carried out a broadly based client survey for LLB in Liechtenstein in the year under report. The results revealed that our clients are very satisfied with both asset management and advisory services. Nine out of ten respondents certified that our advisory services were first class. Ninety per cent were also very satisfied with our online banking. Knowing what our clients need and expect is especially important so that we can develop and adapt the appropriate products, services and channels. The results of the survey also provide us with a basis to explore possibilities for improvements.

The bond with our clients is always the central focus of the LLB Group. We were able to demonstrate this especially during the first months of the year under report, when there was great uncertainty due to the corona pandemic. We intensified our contacts with our clients, advised them and supported them as a reliable partner, in a time of crisis as well.

Business segment result

At CHF 37.2 million, the profit before tax of the Private Banking segment was lower than the previous year’s result. This was attributable, on the one hand, to lower earnings in interest differential business due to the plunge in US dollar interest rates, and on the other, to the allocation of provisions for expected credit losses. In contrast, income from trading developed positively thanks to increased trading activity. Operating expenses climbed to CHF 77.2 million. In the previous year, the release of provisions had a positive effect on the business result. Adjusted to take into consideration these effects, operating expenses were stable compared with the equivalent period in the previous year. The segment posted gratifying net new money inflows particularly in the two growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Thanks to the net new money inflows totalling CHF 616 million, client assets expanded to CHF 17.4 billion.

Segment reporting: Private Banking

Segment reporting

in CHF thousands



+ / – %

Net interest income



– 36.1

Expected credit losses

– 4'365



Net interest income after expected credit losses



– 47.6

Net fee and commission income



– 2.3

Net trading income




Other income




Total operating income



– 13.5

Personnel expenses

– 36'484

– 37'238

– 2.0

General and administrative expenses

– 2'478




– 128

– 134

– 4.6

Services (from) / to segments

– 38'087

– 37'072


Total operating expenses

– 77'177

– 72'608


Segment profit before tax



– 37.6

Performance figures




Gross margin (in basis points) *



Cost Income Ratio (in per cent) *



Net new money (in CHF millions) *



Growth of net new money (in per cent)



* Definition available under

Additional information




+ / – %

Business volume (in CHF millions) *




Assets under management (in CHF millions) *




Loans (in CHF millions)




Employees (full-time equivalents, in positions)




* Definition available under