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Swiss private bank EFG profit dips as it settles Taiwan dispute

Logo of EFG International bank is seen at its headquarters in Zurich

ZURICH (Reuters) -EFG International's net profit fell 1.7% to 202.4 million Swiss francs ($218.50 million) last year, the Swiss private bank said on Wednesday, as it settled legal proceedings related to a client relationship with a Taiwanese insurance company.

EFG said it had paid 40.6 million francs in legal costs and increased provisions to resolve the dispute, with all proceedings against the bank now ended.

On an underlying basis, which removes these costs as well as other items like gains from its legacy life insurance business, EFG's net profit increased to 248.7 million francs from 167.8 million francs a year earlier.

Assets under management declined to 143.1 billion from 172 billion Swiss francs at the end of 2021, almost matching the 143.6 billion predicted by analysts at Zuercher Kantonalbank and a slight increase from the 140.9 billion francs the company reported at the end of the third quarter.

Like many banks, EFG International has seen assets shrink in the light of client uncertainty and tougher market conditions.

The bank said along with the market correction, the decline in assets the Swiss bank manages reflects the disposal of the Spanish private bank A&G.

The bank did however report net new assets of 4.2 billion francs in 2022. In 2021 EFG reported 8.8 billion francs.

"We have maintained our growth momentum during the year and now have recorded positive inflows for 15 consecutive quarters," said Chief Executive Giorgio Pradelli, saying the bank aimed to maintain growth and further increase profitability.

($1 = 0.9263 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Noele Illien, editing by John Revill)