Thriving markets help UBS increase wealth management profits by 43%

UBS capitalised on the booming market conditions for its affluent customers in the third quarter, with profits at its wealth management business soaring 43 per cent, the group reported on Tuesday morning.

The Swiss bank also benefited from a wave of dealmaking and buoyant markets this summer, with its investment bank increasing its pre-tax profits by 32 per cent compared with a year earlier.

Overall, profits at UBS in the third quarter rose 11 per cent to $2.9bn.

The world’s biggest wealth manager has had a strong pandemic, with its wealthy clients seeing their assets soar thanks to the trillions of dollars central banks have pumped into the global economy.

Ralph Hamers, who took over as chief executive of UBS just under a year ago, said: “Regardless of the backdrop, we have continued and will continue to provide our clients with valuable advice and quality execution, enabling them to navigate volatility and capture opportunities.”

UBS reported an 11 per cent annual increase in revenues in its investment bank for the third quarter, excluding exceptional items, with its advisory and capital markets businesses performing strongly.

By comparison, the biggest US investment banks reported an average of 19 per cent higher revenues in their third-quarter results earlier this month.

Three months ago, UBS reported its best second quarter ever, with a 63 per cent rise in earnings on the back of buoyant markets and a boom in mergers and acquisitions.

On Monday UBS said it would sell its Spanish wealth management business, known as UBS Gestion, to Madrid-based Singular Bank, run by former Santander chief executive Javier Marin.

UBS did not give a price for the deal, which it said it hoped to conclude in the third quarter of next year.

While the deal will involve all local staff and clients moving to Singular, it does not include UBS’s asset management and investment banking business in Spain.

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