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Major Swiss private bank to scrap negative interest charges

Julius Bär has been charging negative interest on Swiss franc, euro and Danish krona deposits. Keystone / Ennio Leanza

Wealth manager Julius Bär has joined a growing list of Swiss banks that will no longer pass on the cost of negative interest rates to clients.

The decision to scrap charges from August 1 on Swiss francs, euros and Danish kroner follows an interest rate rise by the European Central Bank this week and a similar move by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in June.

Central banks around the world are reversing their monetary policies by raising interest rates to fight inflation.

Although interest rates remain in negative territory in Switzerland, at -0.25%, some banks have taken the lead in removing charges for wealthy individual clients and companies.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank, Credit Suisse, scrapped negative interest charges for private clients from July 1.

High street Swiss banks and wealth managers have been charged more than CHF11 billion ($11.3 billion) to park assets at the SNB since the central bank first imposed negative interest rates in 2015.

In addition to Credit Suisse and Julius Bär, which is Switzerland’s largest bank focusing purely on wealth management, some smaller Swiss banks have also scrapped or reduced the charges they pass on to clients.

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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