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EFG private bank to restructure after “missteps”

Zurich private bank EFG International has announced restructuring plans and an expected loss for 2011.

It will be focusing more on its “profitable” private banking and address underperforming areas, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. This year will see a loss due to restructuring charges of around SFr50 million ($55.4 million).

The company said “strengths have been obscured in recent years by various missteps, including investments in non-private banking activities; overly ambitious targets; and sub-optimal cost management”.

Staff will be cut by up to 15 per cent over 18 months according to the plans. Savings will amount to SFr35 million a year.

Offices in Sweden, Canada, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already been or are in the process of being closed.

CEO John Williamson said: “We have drawn a line under past mistakes and are resetting the business, improving cost effectiveness and positioning it for future growth based on what we do best: private banking.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR