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VP Bank says still committed to Asia after regional head leaves

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

Asia head Ian Pollock left last month and won't bereplaced, the private bank said on Friday, part of a shake-up ofits 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'sSingapore office, and Clare Lam, executive director in HongKong, a VP spokesman said on Friday.

Pollock's departure was first reported by online portalAsianInvestor, an asset management industry publication, whichsuggested the move could mark a scaling back of the bank'sbusiness in the region.

The VP spokesman denied this, but said the bank willincreasingly focus on business with intermediaries such asindependent asset managers and fiduciaries, instead of courtingclients directly.

Smaller houses such as VP face difficulties againstpowerhouses like UBS , which have poured investmentinto the Asian private banking market for years. Swiss andLiechtenstein banks have increasingly targeted foreign clientsonshore as they grapple with loosening banking secrecy underinternational pressure to clamp down on tax evasion.

Pollock's exit comes against the backdrop of managementturmoil since the departure of long-time Chief Executive AdolfReal three years ago. In July, his replacement Roger Hartmann,departed, shortly after the head of the firm's main bank unitsaid 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)(ReutersMessaging: katharina.bart.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: VPBANK/