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ZURICH, Jan 27 (Reuters) - UBS said on Tuesday it had introduced a charge on deposits for certain large account balances in Switzerland, in a move which follows the surprise jump in the Swiss franc’s exchange rate earlier this month.
The Swiss National Bank shocked financial markets on Jan. 15 by removing a three-year-old cap on the franc’s value against the euro and announcing even lower negative interest and Swiss bank-to-bank Libor lending rates.
“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,” a spokeswoman for UBS said in an emailed statement.
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, had said last week it did not suffer any overall losses in its trading business after the SNB’s decision to abandon the currency cap.
A side-effect of new financial regulation aimed at making banks safer means lenders now have to classify some large corporate depositors, traditionally more mobile than small retail customers, as higher risk.
That also means banks can only invest those corporate funds in very liquid assets that restrict them from making much in the way of commission.
Cross-town rival Credit Suisse said earlier this month it planned to start charging institutional and large corporate clients for Swiss franc accounts. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Additional reporting by Carmel Crimmins in Dublin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)