UBS to Charge Corporate, Institutional Clients for Deposits

UBS Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, said it will charge corporate and institutional clients for “large account balances” after the Swiss central bank abandoned its cap on the currency and introduced negative interest rates for sight deposits.

“These extraordinary market conditions, coupled with increased regulatory requirements in relation to banks’ liquidity obligations, have resulted in UBS introducing an individual deposit charge for large account balances held by corporate and institutional clients as well as by legal entities,” the Zurich-based bank said Tuesday in an e-mail.

Banks have to pay 0.75 percent on balances held with the Swiss National Bank in excess of predefined exemption thresholds. Credit Suisse Group AG, the country’s second-biggest bank, said earlier this month it would charge institutional and large corporate clients interest to hold some assets, while Geneva’s oldest bank, Cie. Lombard, Odier SCA, started charging for cash accounts it doesn’t manage and that have a balance of more than 100,000 Swiss francs ($110,668).

Charges on deposits are aimed at making holdings of francs less attractive after the central bank on Jan. 15 abandoned its cap on the currency versus the euro. The franc soared as much as 41 percent against the euro that day and has also strengthened against other currencies.

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