Pictet: Half-Year Results Show Difficult Environment

Pictet, profits, results, Nicolas Pictet,

Geneva-based private bank Pictet posted a drop in first-half profits, revenue and assets on Friday. The family-controlled bank is emblematic of the problems currently facing Swiss private banks.

Pictet's provisional results for the six months showed a 1.3 percent drop in operating income to 1.03 billion Swiss francs, a 14.3 percent slide in pre-tax profit to 244 million francs, and a bottom-line profit of 191 million francs, down nearly 16 percent on the year.

Assets under management or custody also fell. The measure stood at 436 billion francs, down 1 billion on year-end. Foreign exchange and market moves ate into assets, despite what the bank called «healthy» net new inflows of money from clients.

Lower Trading

Pictet's key ratio capital rose to 22.3 percent, based on 2.51 billion francs in the hardest form of regulatory capital – Tier 1. This is more than four times what Pictet is legally required to hold under international Basel rules and almost three times the Swiss regulator's requirement, which is at least 7.8 percent.

«Pictet Group’s partnership structure, its strong balance sheet and capital ratios allow us to concentrate on creating value for the long term,» senior partner Nicolas Pictet said in a statement on Friday.

«We have therefore continued investing in the first half of 2016 in our staff and infrastructure despite weak markets, low trading volumes and negative interest rates, all of which adversely affected profitability.»

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