ZURICH, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Private bank J. Safra Sarasin said on Friday it was introducing charges on some cash deposits, the latest Swiss bank to make such a move following the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) introduction of negative interest rates.
In a bid to discourage investors from piling into the safe-haven Swiss franc, the SNB decided to charge negative interest rates of -0.75 percent on some of the banks which deposit overnight funds with it.
“Yes, this is being done very selectively with very few specific clients who have very large positions with the bank,” a spokesman for J. Safra Sarasin said when asked if the bank was introducing negative interest rates.
The bank was not concerned about the risk of clients leaving because of this decision, the spokesman added.
The move by J. Safra Sarasin, which reported client assets under management of 131.4 billion Swiss francs ($142.53 billion) at the end of 2013, was first reported on Friday by Swiss finance blog Inside Paradeplatz.
The introduction of negative interest rates is potentially a competitive blow to smaller banks.
Lombard Odier has said it would charge some private clients to hold Swiss francs accounts. Regional lender Zuercher Kantonalbank, which also has a wealth management business, has said it will react to the SNB’s policy moves by charging a fee on deposits of certain major clients.
UBS and Credit Suisse have said they plan to charge institutional and large corporate clients for some accounts.
$1 = 0.9219 Swiss francs Reporting by Rupert Pretterklieber and Joshua Franklin; Editing by Mark Potter