UBS Group AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch stand atop the private-banking industry, managing more than $3 trillion for the world’s wealthiest people even as overall assets have slid.
The private bank at Zurich-based UBS oversaw $1.74 trillion at the end of 2015, compared with $1.75 trillion a year earlier, according to an annual study by London-based consulting firm Scorpio Partnership. Bank of America was second with $1,448 trillion, or 2% less than the prior year, while Morgan Stanley dropped one spot in the rankings to No. 3 at $1,439 trillion, or a reduction of 2.8%.
Fluctuations in global financial markets crimped private-bank assets by 1%, a reversal from growth averaging 2% in 2014. For its annual report, Scorpio surveyed more than 200 firms focusing on high-net-worth clients, typically with investable assets above $1 million. It found that the majority of private-banking institutions experienced a notable slowdown in AUM growth and a squeeze on operating margins due to such factors as volatile markets and clients hesitating to onboard business at levels previously experienced.
“The results portend tough times ahead for the industry adjusting to turbulent financial headwinds,” Scorpio said.
Rounding out the top 10 were Credit Suisse ($687 billion, -7.2%), Royal Bank of Canada ($620 billion, -11.9%), Citi ($508 billion, -7.6%), JPMorgan ($437 billion, +2.1%), Goldman Sachs ($369 billion +1.7%), BNP Paribas ($357 billion, -4.6%), and Deutsche Bank ($311 billion, -6.8%).