Julius Baer CEO Says U.S. Tax-Fine Provision Is `Pretty Final'

Julius Baer Group Ltd. expects to conclude a tax settlement with the U.S. Justice Department within weeks and may announce a new capital-management plan at the start of February, Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi said.

“We have the numbers in pretty detailed fashion,” Collardi told reporters in Bern, responding to questions about resolving the four-year U.S. probe over the bank’s role in helping Americans hide money offshore. “I’m not expecting now to have another round of negotiations -- it’s pretty final."

Julius Baer, Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, announced last month that it increased provisions to settle the U.S. case to $547 million and said it expects to strike an agreement in the first quarter. That sparked a 4 percent increase in the shares. Uncertainty around the Justice Department investigation has hampered the company’s ability to make deals, invest in renewing outdated information technology and return capital to shareholders.

It’s “not unlikely” that Julius Baer will outline a new capital-management plan when it reports full-year earnings on Feb. 1, Collardi said. The company said in July that it would make an announcement on the plan in early 2016.

The CEO, who is also president of the Association of Swiss Asset and Wealth Management Banks, spoke after hosting a press conference with the Association of Swiss Private Banks. Switzerland must prioritize its relations with the European Union and improve access to EU markets for Swiss financial-services companies, he said in a presentation.

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