UBS overtakes Bank of America

Michael Bow
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WEALTH management is undergoing a recovery, according to Scorpio Partnership, as Swiss company UBS outstrips Bank of America to become the world’s biggest market player.

UBS was last in pole position in 2008, but slipped behind Bank of America during the financial crisis. Between their 2007 and 2009 reports, Scorpio estimates that UBS lost over $200bn (£134bn) in assets under management.

However, UBS has roared back, now holding $1.7 trillion, almost $100bn more in assets than at their 2007 peak.

The latest private banking benchmark shows that the world’s 20 largest private banks, which manage a colossal 76 per cent of the industry’s holdings, grew by 10.9 per cent over 2012. Bank of America’s performance was less robust, with 5.9 per cent growth.

Sebastian Dovey, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership, said that a new tier of large and dominant brands is emerging. “They are beginning to demonstrate very distinct mega-player characteristics which the rest of the competition will have to work out how to manage”, adding, “we have seen the confirmation of a new champions’ league of global wealth managers”.

Santander entered the top table for the first time in three years, with an astonishing expansion, growing 66.2 per cent after absorbing two smaller Spanish banks, Banesto and Banif. Barclays was ranked as the 15th largest bank by assets under management, the highest British position.