Island’s EFG bank presence is 'under review'
THE Guernsey business of a Swiss-headquartered bank – which is understood to employ dozens of islanders – is under review as part of a ‘rationalisation’ strategy.
EFG Private Bank (Channel Islands) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EFG International AG, one of Switzerland’s largest private banks. About 35 employees are understood to work at EFG’s Guernsey banking business – while its Jersey business is not affected and will not close.
A spokesperson for EFG, which is headquartered in Zurich, confirmed the Guernsey business was under review: ‘Regarding the proposed closure of EFG Private Bank (Channel Islands) Ltd, EFG’s Guernsey banking business, we confirm that while any final outcome is subject to regulatory approval, we are currently reviewing our Guernsey business as part of our previously announced international booking centre and footprint rationalisation strategy. Further updates regarding this matter will be announced by EFG as appropriate in due time,’ said the spokesperson.
Earlier this year, EFG International promised ‘decisive actions’ to optimise the operational set-up of its core offshore booking centres and to ‘expedite’ the rationalisation strategy. Chief executive officer Giorgio Pradelli also spoke of speeding up cost reduction steps amid market turmoil in the same update in April.
‘Despite the recent market turmoil, we had a solid business performance in the first quarter. We achieved record net commission levels and solid net new assets, albeit short of our target range,’ he said.
‘However, our Assets under Management have been adversely impacted by market movements. Going forward, as we expect to see further pressure on our revenues, we will accelerate our planned cost reduction measures, including our footprint rationalisation and optimisation of our operational setup, in order to realise the efficiency gains sooner than originally planned.’
The incoming president of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, Elaine Gray said: ‘Chamber is saddened to hear that a review is being undertaken of staffing arrangements. The current economic climate is challenging for all businesses and looks likely to become increasingly so the longer that the pandemic continues without a vaccine or any other form of mitigation. Chamber stands ready to support businesses and in particular affected employees in any way it can through this time.’