COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Private Banks

Around mid-February 2020, the world was a different place. Equity markets around the globe were in a comfortable position – some even at an all-time high – with the expectation that the global economy would continue its moderate growth path with healthy company earnings in a low interest rate environment. For most investors, it was a risk-on scenario. What happened thereafter is well known. The coronavirus (COVID-19), that started as an outbreak in one city, spread globally like wildfire and soon was declared global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In a few trading sessions, global equity markets lost about a third of their valuation, and even so-called “safe” assets such as investment grade bonds and gold saw a sharp decline in prices. Widespread sell-off coupled with major deleveraging of portfolios led to devastating losses for investors.

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