UBS, the Swiss bank, beat expectations Friday with a second-quarter net profit of 1.03 billion Swiss francs ($1.05 billion), higher than the 680 million Swiss francs forecast by analysts.
Sergio Ermotti, chief executive of the bank, warned CNBC: "There is very little visibility about the future on every front, both macro and geopolitical. I don't see any relief in the foreseeable future."
The Swiss lender said that volatility, uncertainty and geopolitical tensions were causing client "risk aversion" and depressing transaction volume, and that this was unlikely to change soon - echoing the other major European banks which have reported earnings this week. Profits are being dented by low or negative interest rates, and wealthy clients cutting their number of transactions as they are unwilling to take risks in choppy markets.
"We are not really pushing clients to execute trades because their risk aversion is so high," Ermotti told CNBC.
The bank's profits were down from 1.2 billion Swiss francs in the same period in 2015, when market conditions were much more favorable.
UBS's Swiss rival Credit Suisse reported a surprise profit for the second quarter of 2016 on Thursday.