Credit Agricole’s Swiss Bank Says Profit Dropped 18% Last Year

Credit Agricole SA’s Swiss business reported an 18 percent decline in profit last year as regulatory pressures crimped margins at Switzerland’s wealth managers.

Net income fell to 130.2 million Swiss francs ($139 million) from 158.1 million in 2011, the Geneva-based unit of France’s third-largest lender by market value said today in an e-mailed statement. Assets under management at the unit, which gets about 70 percent of its revenue from private banking, rose 2 percent to 44.9 billion francs.

“Despite variable conditions and persistent pressure on the Swiss banking model, the bank’s total assets under management rose nearly 1 billion francs,” Credit Agricole said.

Credit Agricole, which has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Singapore, said it’s targeting greater China after opening a booking center in Hong Kong in 2011. Swiss private banks are trying to attract emerging-market millionaires as an international crackdown on cross-border tax evasion increases compliance costs and pushes European clients to repatriate assets.

The transactional commodity finance business was impacted by “volatile market conditions” and balance sheet constraints, Credit Agricole said in the statement.