Banca del Gottardo celebrated the year of its fiftieth anniversary, which was also its last full financial year as an independent company, with a very satisfying result. Despite challenging market conditions, net income rose from CHF 97 million in 2006 to CHF 129 million in 2007. This result reflects an increase in operating results and improved risk management, which enabled the bank to release a number of credit provisions. The net outflow of client money increased since mid-2007 from CHF 0.9 billion to CHF 1.0 billion. The planned acquisition of Banca del Gottardo by BSI will be completed on schedule in March 2008.

Banca del Gottardo, which will belong to the Swiss Life Group until its acquisition by BSI, posted a consolidated net income of CHF 129 million in 2007. CHF 17 million of this result is attributable to special factors, namely the release of CHF 34 million in provisions and one-off costs related to early retirement cases and projects amounting to CHF 17 million. This net income was 32% higher than the CHF 97 million posted in 2006. If these special factors are not taken into account, net profit is CHF 111 million, which represents a year-on-year increase of 16%.

Solid operating results
Net revenues for 2007 were CHF 475 million, an increase of 6%. Revenues from trading operations were up 19%, while revenues from interest activities and commission and service fee activities grew by 5% and 4% respectively compared with the prior year.

Operating expenses increased by 2% year-on-year to CHF 332 million, which is largely a result of the increased headcount and higher performance-based remuneration costs. A decrease in extraordinary expenses enabled the cost/income ratio to improve from 73% in 2006 to 70%.

Return on equity (ROE) improved year-on-year, from 10% to 14%.

Net outflow of client money significantly slowed since mid-2007
The net outflow of client assets from Private Banking due to previous staff departures increased by CHF 0.1 billion, from CHF 0.9 billion to CHF 1.0 billion between 30 June and 31 December 2007. As at 31 December 2007, client assets managed by Banca del Gottardo, not including the custody business, had risen from CHF 35.8 billion in 2006 to CHF 36.0 billion owing to positive performance and currency influences. Including the custody business, which consists chiefly of assets held on behalf of Swiss Life, assets under control totalled CHF 101.1 billion at end-2007, compared with CHF 89.3 billion at end-2006.

Merger with BSI is on course
The preliminary work for the integration of Banca del Gottardo into BSI is running according to plan. Further information on this will be announced by BSI following the acquisition, which is due to be completed in early March 2008.

Rolf Aeberli, Chief Executive Officer of Banca del Gottardo, commented: "Last year, our bank posted a very pleasing profit, continuing the positive trend in results that began in 2004. The net outflow of new money due to previous staff departures continued to be a thorn in our side. Overall, we have made excellent progress and our employees are doing an exceptional job. This puts them in an optimal position to go on and create one of the leading providers of wealth management services following the bank’s integration into BSI."

Enquiries to:
Banca del Gottardo
Christian Moser
Head of Marketing & Communications
Phone +41 91 808 14 04

Banca del Gottardo is a Swiss bank that focuses on private banking. It is headquartered in Lugano and has subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Chiasso, Locarno, Bergamo, Milan, Rome, Treviso, Turin, Athens, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Hong Kong and Nassau. On 7 November 2007 it was announced that Banca del Gottardo would be acquired by BSI, a company belonging to Italian insurance group Generali. Until the acquisition has been completed (est. March 2008), Banca del Gottardo will remain part of the Swiss Life Group, which is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange and is one of the leading suppliers of pension and life insurance solutions in Europe.