UBS pruning weath management
UBS is under criticism for harshly pruning down its wealth management customer base. Allegedly some smaller, vulnerable clients, living outside Switzerland have been given 30 days to leave the bank.
A trigger for UBS is claimed to be the value of managing smaller clients in a time of negative interest rates. The administrative costs for these small customers sometimes outweighs the returns. UBS however emphasizes that it would not put customers on the street, but it would implement minus interest from a certain limit. This is part of an investment program UBS announced a year ago.
Critics claim that this is UBS's tactic to scare off “small” private banking customers with the prospect of high negative interest rates at this inconvenient point in time.
Most affected would be long-term customers living abroad with less than half a million in their accounts. A large part of this group it is claimed are Swiss pensioners living abroad in Asia, Africa, etc. Most only have an account with UBS to which their pension payments are transferred.
Because of Covid, they would hardly have the opportunity to quickly find another bank in Switzerland, particularly because Covid makes it impossible to personally appear at a new bank to open an account. (We wonder if this could be done via Zoom?)
From visits to annual meetings this group makes up many UBS shareholders, unfortunately with small amounts of shares, so in this respect not much leverage.