Julius Baer Charges Institutional Clients for SNB Negative Rate

Julius Baer Group Ltd., Switzerland’s third largest wealth manager, is passing on the cost of the central bank’s negative interest rate to its institutional clients.

Clients such as pension funds, which use Julius Baer for custody services, will have to pay for deposits in Swiss francs, Jan Vonder Muehll, a spokesman for the Zurich-based firm, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Thursday.

Julius Baer will decide “at a later stage” whether to pass on the costs to private clients, who contributed the bulk of 396 billion francs ($416 billion) under management at the end of 2014, he said. It is advising private clients on “interesting alternatives to holding cash.”

Banks including UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and J. Safra Sarasin Holding AG have levied charges on some cash accounts after the Swiss National Bank last month began charging

0.75 percent interest to hold francs. The central bank is trying to deter investors from amassing francs, whose value has surged since the SNB lifted its cap versus the euro, also in January.

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