If you asked a straw poll of private bankers where they see the greatest growth in the next 10-20 years in assets - Italy or Asia - there would probably be few that would say the former.
However, a few days ago Banca del Gottardo announced internally that its own shareholder, Swiss Life had drawn that very conclusion.
Banca del Gottardo opened up its private banking operations in Hong Kong in 1999, under the auspices of its former shareholder, Sumitomo Bank. Swiss Life then bought 99.84% of the Swiss-Italian private bank only days later from Sumitomo. Finally it has decided enough is enough, and will close its Asian office.
Head of Asian private banking, Thomas...