Increased client assets
Client assets rose by 4% to CHF 233bn in 2016, from CHF 224bn in 2015, despite sustained market volatility, political change and macroeconomic uncertainties. Net inflows and market performance lifted client assets over the year, despite a negative impact from the strong Swiss franc.
As a result total client assets in the private clients business reached CHF 119bn, while asset management clients invested CHF 45bn with Lombard Odier investment managers and technology and banking services clients entrusted the group with an additional CHF 69bn.
Earnings reflect challenging market conditions
Operating income for 2016 was CHF 1,040m, 3% lower than in 2015. Challenging market conditions resulted in subdued client activity and hence lower earnings. The operating cost/income ratio was 83%. The consolidated net profit fell 13% to CHF 124.5m.
“The rise in client assets in 2016 is positive in what was a challenging market,” said Patrick Odier, senior managing partner. “We continued to hire experienced bankers and portfolio managers to develop our private client business. In our asset management business, the strength of our offering resulted in us winning several large mandates over the year. And in our technology and banking services business, we cultivated a strong client pipeline and signed new partnership agreements in Switzerland, France and Luxembourg. Our cost income ratio remains high as a result of continued investments which should increase revenues in the medium term.”
A solid balance sheet
The balance sheet remains highly liquid and conservatively invested. Total assets amounted to CHF 16.4bn as of 31 December 2016. The Group has no external debt and is one of the best capitalised banks globally, with a Basel III CET1 ratio of 29.3%, compared with 25.7% in 2015.