Swiss banks see huge withdrawals in 2008
Swiss banks lost more than a quarter of their deposits last year as customers withdrew some $1.21 trillion amid the global financial crisis, heavy losses at UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group, and ongoing investigations into the offshore banking industry.
Figures released by the Swiss National Bank on Monday showed deposits fell 27 per cent to 3.82 trillion francs their lowest since August 2005.
Foreign customers took out 882 billion francs more than they put in, while domestic net withdrawals reached 531 billion francs, according to the SNB's monthly statistical bulletin.
Foreign private customers withdrew the highest proportion of their money 36 per cent or 371 billion francs leaving only 671 billion in Swiss vaults. That is the lowest amount deposited by foreign private customers since the end of 1998.
Deposits by foreign institutional customers dropped 23 per cent, or about 417 billion francs, to 1,386 billion francs.
Domestic private customers withdrew 28 per cent of their deposits, leaving 417 billion francs.
The report didn't break the figures down by institution, but Switzerland's two flagship banks have both said their customers withdrew billions of francs last year.
UBS said net withdrawals reached 226 billion francs in 2008, compared with inflows of 140.