UBS loses top wealth manager spot

8th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Research finds Bank of America manages more assets than UBS due to mergers in 2008.

Geneva -- Swiss banking giant UBS  lost its top spot as the world's biggest wealth manager to the Bank of America, research firm Scorpio Partnership said Tuesday.

The US bank managed USD 1.501 trillion (CHF 1.636 trillion) worth of assets at the end of 2008, while UBS managed CHF 1.401 trillion, according to the firm.

Citigroup came third and then fellow American bank Wells Fargo.

"M&A activity has influenced the top 10 with Bank of America now becoming the world's largest wealth manager although the core of its asset base remains inside the United States," said the research.

"Indeed, although UBS experienced significant difficulties during 2008, it is notable that it remains in second spot and is effectively still the largest non-US international wealth manager."

Bank of America agreed to buy Merrill Lynch in September 2008 in a bid to save the latter from collapse as the credit crunch intensified.

The acquisition led to a rise in first quarter profits to USD 4.2 billion for the bank.

On the other hand, UBS, which in 2008 reported losses reaching USD 17 billion, lost assets as clients took their money elsewhere.

A net CHF 226 billion flowed out of the bank in 2008, compared to a net inflow of CHF 140.6 billion in 2007.

AFP / Expatica

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