The combined entity will be a large-scale private banking entity in Spain with assets worth around €20bn and 11 offices across the country


Swiss Bank Corporation's ‘three keys’ icon. (Credit: Government of Thailand/Wikipedia.)

Swiss investment bank UBS has agreed to divest its private banking business in Spain to Singular Bank for an undisclosed amount.

It marks the UBS’ second exit from the European market in the last 12 months, following its decision to sell Austrian wealth management business to LGT, in December last year.

Singular Bank is expected to pay a consideration between €200m and €250m to UBS, for the transaction, reported Reuters citing German daily Handelsblatt.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to receipt of relevant regulatory authorisations.

Upon closing, the combined company will be a large-scale private banking entity in Spain with assets worth around €20bn and a network of 11 offices across the country.

UBS Europe CEO and UBS Wealth Management head Christl Novakovic said: “Because of its strong independent profile in Spain and our shared vision of a highly personalised, first-class customer service model.

“The transaction will create a unique value proposition for employees and clients and position the business for future growth opportunities. Our capabilities to offer our customers the best service.

“Regardless of this decision, we remain committed to our main European markets and to consolidating our leadership position in them.”

The acquisition includes the shares of UBS Gestión SGIIC and excludes its asset management and investment banking businesses in Spain.

All the employees, client relationships, products, and services related to the domestic wealth management business of UBS Spain will be transferred to Singular Bank.

UBS said that its wealth management business in Spain had been profitable in recent years, but the divestment decision was taken after it was better off with a focused wealth manager based in the country, reported Reuters.

According to Singular Bank, the agreement is in line with its 2020 growth strategy.

The bank intends to finance the transaction from its available capital, which will have a capital base of more than €300m at closing.

The transaction marks Singular Bank’s fourth acquisition in Spain, following Belgravia Capital SGIIC, the MG Valores business and an affiliate of Luxembourg Quintet Private Bank.

Singular Bank CEO Javier Marín said: “We are excited and proud of this operation, which represents a milestone in the transformation of the sector in Spain, creating the leading independent private bank, with first-rate human and technological capital.

“Our goal is to continue offering a differential service to our clients, through a highly personalised and innovative offer, to help them achieve their financial objectives.

“All these integrations have been carried out in record time and have added value from the first moment both to new clients and to the professionals who have joined the bank.”