Julius Baer may not exactly be unscathed by the crisis in the Swiss Franc, according to the Financial Times. In the days following the Swiss National Bank’s move to remove the cap from the Swiss franc, Julius Baer CEO Boris Collardi said the bank had not yet taken serious losses. However, the worst may be yet to come.
Analysts have predicted that the move may cause the Swiss franc to soar and will damage Swiss private banks that have their costs in francs but revenues in other currencies. Moody’s singled out Julius Baer, Zuercher Katonalbank, Credit Suisse and UBS as banks that will likely be the most adversely affected by the rise in the currency. A spokesperson for Julius Baer said that staff cuts are likely to reduce costs. Collardi indicated, in the sector as a whole, consolidation was likely so smaller banks could survive. The Swiss banking sector has been already challenged before the currency issue with the shift toward onshore assets, increased tax transparency and overseas investigation into undeclared customers.
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Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has worked for the Julius Baer Group, which has an exclusive clientele of heirs, entrepreneurs, politicians and celebrities. The bank was started by the Baer family who were targeted as Jews in Europe and escaped the Holocaust to settle in America. The Baer family has been helping Jews in their lawsuits against Swiss banks who hid assets stolen from Jews by the Nazis. The Baer family also is the leader of Keren Hayesod Switzerland and has donated millions to Jewish causes. Ehud Barak serves as special adviser to the management of the bank and its global CEO, Boris Collardi, in geopolitical issues and economics.