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Migros Bank adds assets, customers

The banking arm of Switzerland’s Migros retail group has reported SFr1.5 billion ($1.47 billion) of inflows of client money in 2009.

Net client money at Migros Bank, a cooperative, rose to SFr25.5 billion last year as it added 59,000 customers. Gross profit rose by 8.6 per cent, it said.

The results are another sign that clients are pulling money out of struggling bank UBS. Analysts expect UBS to post its first quarterly profit for over a year for the three months to the end of December, but see money continuing to leave the bank to competitors such as Migros Bank, albeit at a slower pace.

UBS is trying to repair damage to its reputation from a high-profile United States tax investigation and a Swiss government bailout in the crisis, during which the bank booked Switzerland's biggest annual corporate loss.

So far main domestic competitor, Credit Suisse, and smaller cantonal banks have been the main beneficiaries of billions of francs of withdrawals from UBS, as many of customers seek what they perceive to be a safer place to deposit their cash. and agencies

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