Luxembourg is an important European financial center for private banking. How does Banque de Luxembourg position itself in this sector?
Today, we are one of the largest private banks in Luxembourg, with nearly 1,000 employees, an aggregate net banking product of EUR 280.7 million, more than EUR 1 billion in equity (as at 31 December 2019) and a solvency ratio of 27.19%, figures which convey solidity and security.
From Luxembourg, our bank serves individuals, families and entrepreneurs. Most of them come from Europe and choose us because of our ability to take into account the diversity and complexity of their situations, as well as the way we carry out our activity.
Private banking has undergone a revolution in recent years. How did the sector adapt to the new generations? What trends do you think will determine the future?
Whether tangible or intangible, wealth is the result of a lifelong effort and sometimes even of several generations. I perceive that the new generations expect their investment manager to go beyond just financial aspects and take into account ethical criteria and concepts such as sustainability and social commitment.
For this reason, Banque de Luxembourg has chosen to put responsible investment and sustainable initiatives at the core of its future strategy. From now on, everything we undertake will be measured against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDAs).
These new generations are sensitive to a whole range of labels relating to Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). But not only the new generations are affected by these issues, this paradigm is being adopted by society at large.
The two major levers of impact within a bank are savings and credit and, in this respect, at Banque de Luxembourg we assume our social responsibility and can stand with our clients who wish to invest their capital in more responsible projects, but also refuse certain financing on the basis of relative sustainable criteria. Thanks to these two elements, we position ourselves as a player that gives priority to criteria relating to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
What advantages does Luxembourg offer to Spanish investors?
Luxembourg is ranked among the 10 countries in the world with a AAA rating and has a thriving economy. It is also one of the countries in the world where the sense of security is highest. The Grand Duchy boasts political and social stability unparalleled in Europe, as well as a pragmatic, dynamic and attractive legal framework for investors. The country offers a stable jurisdiction for its wealth, within Europe, designed to protect investors and customers.
The Luxembourg financial centre offers an international approach to Spanish investors, a high degree of diversification, its capacity for innovation, but above all its economic and political security and stability. It is the leading private banking center in the euro area and ranks second worldwide in terms of managed assets, with a modern and competitive legal and regulatory framework.
The current crisis has led to costumers who were generally reluctant to take the step of opening an offshore account to become comfortable with the idea of diversifying their assets in a stable and renowned jurisdiction such as Luxembourg.
"The banking sector must not only contribute to financing the real economy, as they have done at the height of the health crisis, but can also help the world develop better by facilitating the transition to sustainable finance."
How do you perceive that COVID-19 has affected investors’ decision-making about their assets? What role does the financial advisor play in this new context?
Costumers who have been trusting us with their savings for many years have once again been satisfied with the quality and resilience of our management. Our investments in quality securities and our long-term prudent investment philosophy have enabled us to weather episodes of high volatility without panic.
At Banque de Luxembourg, we remain on the sidelines of trends as we place our priority on capital preservation and long-term performance. In addition, risk control is one of the key elements of our methodology.
Financial advisors act as catalysts behind these principles. We are trusted partner, who listen to the costumers and accompany them through the changes that any investment experiences over time and who respond to their concerns by providing answers, value and security.
What are the challenges facing the sector and Banque de Luxembourg in the next months?
The banking sector must not only contribute to financing the real economy, as they have done at the height of the health crisis, but can also help the world develop better by facilitating the transition to sustainable finance.
The challenge for the Banque de Luxembourg is, and always has been, to be closer to its clients. Currently, the crisis we are going through has shown that this does not require physical proximity. Thus, the banker must reinvent himself and the way he offers his services.
During the crisis, I have not been able to travel to Spain to visit my costumers, so we have looked for alternatives. This reactivity has been highly appreciated by our costumers, and is in line with our values.
More than a challenge, it is a principle that we have been applying for 100 years : remaining faithful to our values and taking the time to listen to our costumers, because each costumer is a person, and each person is unique.
Juan Carlos joined Banque de Luxembourg in 2007. At the beginning, he was involved in strategic and internal transformation projects, and later, he got into the financial management industry, starting with investment fund management, distribution and business development. After this experience, he decided to orient on private banking and is currently focused on Spanish-speaking client management and their families, and on the Spanish market development.
Juan Carlos studied engineering between Madrid and Paris.