Banque Syz says will buy Royal Bank of Canada Swiss unit

Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:16am EDT
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ZURICH, July 14 (Reuters) - Swiss bank Syz & Co said it would buy Royal Bank of Canada's Swiss private bank, including 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.5 billion) under management, the latest move by a foreign bank to exit Switzerland.

Geneva-based Syz, which is privately held, didn't disclose a purchase price for the RBC unit, which is mainly active in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

"These are complementary markets for Syz Group, which will manage nearly 40 billion francs in assets," the Geneva-based bank said.

RBC said it was exiting Switzerland in order to streamline its private banking activities.

"The decision to sell RBC Suisse fits with our stated long-term growth strategy to build a focused global wealth management business that serves high net worth and ultra high net worth clients in priority markets from our hubs in North America, the British Isles and Asia," said George Lewis, group head of the Toronto-based bank's wealth management and insurance arm.

Syz is best known for a range of Oyster-branded funds but has to contend with the costs of increased regulation associated with various tax crackdowns that are piling pressure on smaller players in the Swiss banking sector to sell up or close down.

"This acquisition allows Syz to extend its international footprint to raise its profitability and to deliver significant synergies," Syz said.

($1 = 0.9514 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Mark Potter)