UBS sells Spanish wealth management business

UBS Group has reached an agreement for the sale of its Spanish wealth management operations to Madrid-headquartered Singular Bank. This was made known in an announcement published by the Swiss bank said on Monday. This marks the lender’s second exit from a European market in the past year.

UBS indicated in the statement that it was on course to sell UBS Gestion to Singular, but refused to specify the monetary value of the transaction. German newspaper Handelsblatt estimated that the purchase will cost Singular Bank between 200 million and 250 million euros (US$291 million) for the subsidiary.

The deal comes on the heels of UBS exit from Austria last December, when it completed the sale of its operation focused on deep-pocket clients to Liechenstein-based private bank LGT.

UBS, renowned as the world’s largest wealth manager with well over US$3 trillion in invested assets, stated that the latest sale is in no way an indication that it plans to abandon its operations in the European market.

“European wealth management activities are and will remain a central and strategic core business for UBS,” Christl Novakovic, chief executive of UBS Europe SE and Head of Wealth Management Europe at UBS, said in a statement.

UBS’s asset management and investment banking operations in Spain were exempted from the transaction, which is currently to be finalized during the third quarter of next year.

As part of the sale, there is a complete transfer of all employees, client relationships, products, and services of the domestic wealth management operations of UBS Spain to Singular Bank.

UBS stated in its announcement that its domestic wealth management business in Spain had been profitable in recent years, and that the decision to sell was made because it would fair even better run by a firm dedicated especially to wealth management within the country.

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