(Adds comment from Standard Chartered)
ZURICH, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Banque Heritage said on Thursday it will buy client assets from British bank Standard Chartered for an undisclosed price, in a bid by the Swiss private bank to expand in emerging markets, Europe and the Middle East.
The move is part of a wave of deals expected from Swiss private banks amid a raft of challenges. These include higher regulation and compliance spending, dwindling revenue, and tax investigations such as a long-running U.S. probe.
Many foreign banks are reconsidering their commitment to Swiss private banking, including Royal Bank of Canada, which is undergoing a strategic review of RBC Suisse, based in Geneva.
A surge in the Swiss currency is expected to add to the woes of Swiss banks, which book the bulk of their spending in francs, but generate revenue in other units such as U.S. dollars or euros.
Heritage did not disclose the amount of assets it was buying from Standard Chartered.
“The purchase is part of Heritage’s expansion plan, purchasing select private banking assets from other financial institutions in order to bolster its position in key markets,” Geneva-based Heritage said in a brief statement.
The move follows confirmation earlier this month from Standard Chartered, which is Asia-focused, that it will close its Swiss private bank after failing to attract a buyer for it.
Standard Chartered said it remains committed to the Swiss market.
“Its strategy is to refocus its efforts in Switzerland on building its Corporate and Institutional client business, aligning more closely with its core markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” the British bank said in a statement. (Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)