KBL epb results show return to profitability
The Luxembourg-based KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) has announced an annual net profit of €84.5m for 2013, thereby exceeding its full year target of €50m.The bank reported an increase in AUM from €40.9 to €42.2bn between 2012 and 2013.
KBL epb attributes the growth to the strong performance of the group’s core private banking activities, as well as Global Investor Services, Asset Management and Life insurance business lines. Yves Stein, Group CEO KBL epb confirmed: “We are very pleased with the performance of the group in 2013 – a period marked by a return to profitability and the full implementation of our long-term growth strategy.”
The bank, which has a pan-European presence in nine countries, had faced a challenging year in 2012, partly due to the sale of bond positions in the peripheral countries of the eurozone, which contributed to a decline in net consolidated profits to -€251m, as well as the low capital market rates and a policy of undertaking balance sheet risks.
Added to that are the new regulatory challenges which the private banking sector in Luxembourg faced over the last year, since the Luxembourgish government announced in April 2013 that it was ready to engage in the automatic exchange of information with EU tax authorities beginning January 1 2015. Yet KBL epb’s increase of overall AUM in 2013 suggests that the bank faced this changing environment successfully. Nicholas Nesson, KBL epb’s general manager of corporate communications elaborates: “What we certainly saw as a consequence of the onshorisation process was a slight reduction in our AUM in Luxembourg, which was more than compensated for by AUM growth in our other core markets.”
Moving forward, the bank aims to sustain this growth through an increased focus on training, in order to help its staff deal with the changing regulatory environment, and an outlook toward new acquisitions in order to consolidate its European presence.