The largest Swiss bank will close one-fifth of its branches in its home country
The largest Swiss bank UBS will close one-fifth of its branches in its home country this quarter.
More and more clients use online banking, and the pandemic of the new coronavirus has accelerated this trend even more.
In addition, the bank announced that from the second half of the year it will start applying negative interest already on deposits over 250,000 Swiss francs or euros.
As the bank announced on Tuesday, it will close about 20 percent of 239 branches in Switzerland by the end of March. The rival bank Credit Suisse announced last year that it would reduce its branch network from 146 to 109.
In addition, UBS said it will start charging negative interest to clients with deposits over CHF 250,000 or euros from July.
The reason is the pandemic of the new coronavirus, which is increasing interest in online banking, as well as long-term low interest rates, which are unlikely to change in the near future.
The Swiss central bank introduced negative interest rates as early as the end of 2014, and later several commercial banks, including UBS, did so. Now, however, UBS is introducing negative interest rates on significantly lower deposits than its competitors.
For example, Credit Suisse charges negative interest to clients with deposits over CHF 2 million. This was originally the limit applied by UBS. As for the accounts denominated in euros, Credit Suisse told Reuters that from February it will start applying negative interest rates on deposits over 500 thousand euros.
This was originally true for deposits over one million euros. However, UBS will also apply a negative interest rate on euros to deposits over EUR 250,000.