Private Clients
Trust is Imperative in a Family Office Banking Relationship

What may lead to a loss of trust between Swiss family offices and Swiss financial institutions and how it may be restored.

August 26, 2021

Let us begin with a real-life case study right away.

A Swiss multi-family office service provider had been doing business with their Swiss «house bank» for around 20 years. This bank knew all the clients of the multi-family office and had the relevant documents on file as required by the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In 2017, the stable and competent team was promoted to a higher position within the bank – and a new team was appointed without being briefed on the needs of the multi-family office. As a result, timeliness of services and open communication suffered. The new team at the bank did not recognise that these two trust antecedents would have a strong impact on their own trustworthiness and that of their employer.

Lack of competence, decisional authority… 

And where did this lack of perceived competence, decisional authority of the new team, transparent communication, benevolence and timely service of the bank finally lead? Exactly, it resulted in the Swiss multi-family office authorising the transfer of all its clients’ financial assets and the closure of all accounts with this particular bank.

It does sound simple, even though the impact is strong: The bank missed the opportunity of implementing a trust restoration strategy. They simply «did not read the sign» when the multi-family office made its first complaint and no longer were the house bank of an important client relationship because of this important management error.

«The management of tension between the need for a timely response and the time to ensure due process is often underestimated and not communicated adequately to the client», says Dr. Roderik J. P. Strobl, Relationship Manager Key Clients of Leo Trust Switzerland.

At this point you might ask yourself how does restoring trust work? Where and when to begin – and where does it end? You’ll find some key insights in the article below (download).

Read more
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