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VP Bank says still committed to Asia after regional head leaves

ZURICH, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Liechtenstein-based VP Bank's

Asia head Ian Pollock left last month and won't be replaced, the private bank said on Friday, part of a shake-up of its business in the region.

The duties of Pollock, who couldn't be reached for comment, will be divided between Reto Isenring, who heads the bank's Singapore office, and Clare Lam, executive director in Hong Kong, a VP spokesman said on Friday.

Pollock's departure was first reported by online portal AsianInvestor, an asset management industry publication, which suggested the move could mark a scaling back of the bank's business in the region.

The VP spokesman denied this, but said the bank will increasingly focus on business with intermediaries such as independent asset managers and fiduciaries, instead of courting clients directly.

Smaller houses such as VP face difficulties against powerhouses like UBS , which have poured investment into the Asian private banking market for years. Swiss and Liechtenstein banks have increasingly targeted foreign clients onshore as they grapple with loosening banking secrecy under international pressure to clamp down on tax evasion.

Pollock's exit comes against the backdrop of management turmoil since the departure of long-time Chief Executive Adolf Real three years ago. In July, his replacement Roger Hartmann, departed, shortly after the head of the firm's main bank unit said he would leave after only eight months in the job.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Toby Chopra)

((Katharina.Bart@thomsonreuters.com)(+41 58 306 7312)(Reuters Messaging: katharina.bart.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: VPBANK/