BSI SA

Banca del Gottardo to Remain Part of the Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life Group

    Lugano (ots) In conjunction with the strategic reorientation of the Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life group, and after due consideration, a sale of the Banca del Gottardo is being ruled out for the time being. Details concerning this decision, taken by the Board of Directors of Switzerland's biggest life insurer in full agreement with the Ticino-based bank's top management, were revealed during the Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life press conference held in Zurich on 18 September 2002.

    In the wake of its recent strategy revision, the Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life group has decided that going forward it will focus on its core businesses of life insurance and pension provision. As a result, it will disinvest non-core sector activities. In terms of this new strategic direction, Banca del Gottardo has been defined as non-core. A sale of the Lugano-headquartered bank will only be taken into consideration, however, under more stable market conditions and will depend essentially on the ability of a potential buyer to offer future prospects and a business plan compatible with the bank's own strategic orientation and positioning. Cooperation between Rentenanstalt and the Banca del Gottardo will remain close, particularly in relation to Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life's asset management activities.

    Since joining the Swiss Life group (in the first half of 1999), the Banca del Gottardo has proved profitable, generating earnings of 340 million francs by the end of 2001, while increasing its assets under management from 31 billion to roughly 38 billion francs at the end of the first half of 2002. The bank has shareholders' equity exceeding 1 billion francs. Calculated according to legal norms, the Banca del Gottardo's excess capital is 350 million francs, further underscoring its solidity.

    In the last two years, the Banca del Gottardo has made important strides in the execution of its own strategy, including the realisation of an onshore network in the Italian market that has brought more-than-encouraging results. Following its outstanding launch in Bergamo and Milan, the Banca del Gottardo Italia plans to open three new branches in the next few months in Turin, Genoa, and Rome.

    Banca del Gottardo with head office in Lugano (Switzerland), is a member of the Swiss Life Group, the market leader in Switzerland and Europe's fifth largest life insurer. It relies on a well expanded national and international network. With affiliates, subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Chiasso, Locarno, Bergamo ,Milano, Luxembourg, Monaco, Vienna, Prague, Hong Kong, Nassau (Bahamas) as well as an important participation in Paris, and thanks to its highly qualified teams of experts, the bank offers top level financial services to its local and international clientele.

ots Originaltext: Banca del Gottardo
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Banca del Gottardo
Franco Rogantini
Viale S. Franscini 8
6901 Lugano
Tel.         +41/91/808'33'60
Fax          +41/91/923'94'33
mailto:    franco.rogantini@gottardo.com
Internet: http://www.gottardo.com

Lugano, 18.09.2002


Pagina 2

Media release

Banca del Gottardo, Viale S.Franscini 8, CH-6901 Lugano, Tel. +41 91
808 11 11, Fax +41 91 923 94 33,www.gottardo.com



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