UBS Exec: Trading Activity Has Become DIRE, As Debt Ceiling Fight Causes Everyone To Freak Out

ubs doors

There are some interesting comments in a WSJ interview with UBS Private Banking chief Juerg Zeltner (first noticed by Reuters) regarding the state of trading right now.

Mr. Zeltner said client activity has been “dire” in recent weeks, as the wealthy haven’t yet returned to the trading activities that in turn feed into bank fees and commissions. He expects clients to shake out of the lull and begin trading again when the U.S. settles a political debate over its debt ceiling, which threatens to rock financial markets. Continuing euro-zone debt restructuring problems are also hitting sentiment.

What’s interesting is that the debt ceiling fight, on the surface, really hasn’t had much of an impact on anything in financial markets. The idea that it’s contributing to a major trading lull at a bank seems pretty new. Certainly the euro-zone issues would seem more of concern.

Meanwhile, a few other key points:

  • The surge in the Swiss Franc has been a killer, since the company is taking in money in all kinds of different currencies, but its costs are mostly Franc-denominated.
  • It has returned to inflows after three years of seeing private banking money go out the door.
  • But it still has an uphill battle, especially with the watering down of Swiss secrecy laws.