Muscat: Sarasin Alpen, the Oman arm of Swiss private bank, is planning to wind up operations in the Sultanate by the end of this month. Although the reason for downing shutters is not known, informed sources indicate that it could be due to a global restructuring plan, after the bank was taken over by Safra Group — another Swiss private banking group. However, a top-level official of Sarasin Alpen in Oman declined to comment, saying that only the private bank's head office spokesperson can comment on the issue.
Sarasin Alpen, which has been operating in Oman with a licence from Capital Market Authority (CMA), offers private banking services for high net worth individuals and institutions.
The bank offers investment advisory services, wealth management and trust services and active advisory portfolios.
Sarasin Alpen has around five employees, sources said.
CMA sources said that the private bank is in the process of restructuring/revamping operation across the globe, after bank Sarasin was taken over by Bank J Safra. Both these institutions were merged to form Bank J Safra Sarasin.
In the Gulf region, apart from Oman, Sarasin Alpen has operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain.
"This is not a surprise as we heard about it earlier," said a source, adding; "It is an issue of the bank and not of Oman." Sources also said that the private bank must have discussed with CMA for winding up operation in the country.
Sources also noted that the bank's operations were under pressure, following US regulator's probe into tax evasion by their citizens who parked their funds in Swiss private banks.
According to the bank's website, Bank J. Safra Sarasin will continue to follow Bank Sarasin's existing business strategy, and position itself as a sustainable international provider of financial services.