UBS Ranked First in Euromoney’s Private Banking Survey

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, said it was ranked top in the latest annual global private banking survey conducted by Euromoney magazine, beating Credit Suisse Group AG.

The Zurich-based bank last had the top spot in the survey, which is based on bank-provided data and peer review, in 2009, UBS said in an e-mailed statement today.

UBS is rebuilding its wealth management business, once the biggest in the world, after losses during the subprime crisis and the attack on Swiss banking secrecy led to net withdrawals of 239.2 billion francs ($262.4 billion) in nine quarters ending June 2010. The profitability of the business is also under pressure as the European sovereign-debt crisis and doubts over the global economic growth outlook curb client activity.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Juerg Zeltner, head of wealth management excluding the Americas, said in a memo to employees provided by UBS. He added that the bank is “excellently positioned to achieve sustainable, profitable growth.”

Chief Financial Officer Tom Naratil said yesterday it’s going to be a “multi-year process” to boost revenues in wealth management to target levels. The bank also expects as much as 30 billion francs in withdrawals from European clients with assets in Swiss offshore accounts, he said.

Credit Suisse was ranked second globally in the survey after holding the top spot the previous year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. moved up one spot to third place, according to Euromoney.

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