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Open ledger Pictet posts results for the first time

Pictet's headquarters in Geneva

(Keystone)

Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie broke with more than 200 years of tradition on Tuesday and published earnings for the first time, as it faces down a US criminal investigation into tax evasion via hidden offshore accounts.

The move comes several days before cross-town rival Lombard Odier is expected to also post results for the first time, following a change in structure last year at both famously discreet Geneva firms, which are partially controlled by descendants of their founding families.

Pictet is also one of around a dozen Swiss banks under criminal investigation in the United States for allegedly helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, and the bank’s senior partner said the case would be settled at the pace set by the United States.

“It’s not in our hands,” Jacques de Saussure told Reuters when asked about the tax probe. “The rhythm is decided by the US authorities, not by us.”

In its half-year results, Pictet posted net profit of CHF202.9 million ($222 million). The bank held CHF319 billion in net assets under management, sealing its position as Switzerland’s third-largest private bank by assets after UBS and Credit Suisse.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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