12 Impairments on goodwill and other intangible assets

As of 30 June 2014, the LLB Group carried goodwill for the following segment:


in CHF thousands



Retail & Corporate Banking






Goodwill impairment testing

Goodwill is tested twice a year for impairment – in the first quarter as a basis for the interim financial reporting at 30 June and in the third quarter as a basis for the annual financial reporting at 31 December. In order to determine a possible impairment, the recoverable amount of each cash generating unit, which carries goodwill, is compared with its balance sheet value. According to the calculations made, the recoverable amount of a cash generating unit always corresponds to the value in use. The balance sheet value or carrying value comprises equity before goodwill and intangible assets, as well as goodwill and intangible assets from the underlying purchase price allocation of this cash generating unit.

On the basis of the impairment testing carried out, management reached the conclusion that for the half year ended on 30 June 2014, the total of CHF 55.6 million allocated to the cash generating unit remains recoverable, and no impairment needs to be recognised because the recoverable amount exceeds the balance sheet value.

Recoverable amount

For determining the value in use, which corresponds to the recoverable amount of the respective cash generating units, the LLB Group employs a discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation model. The DCF model used by the LLB Group takes into consideration the special characteristics of banking business and the financial services sector, as well as the regulatory environment. With the aid of the model, and on the basis of the financial planning approved by management, the cash value of estimated free cash flow is calculated. If regulatory capital requirements exist for the cash generating unit, these capital requirements are deducted from the estimated free cash flows for the respective period and are available to the cash generating unit for distribution. This amount then corresponds to the theoretical sum that could be paid out to the shareholders. For the assessment of the forecasted earnings, management employs approved financial plans covering a period of five years. The results of all periods after the fifth year are extrapolated from the forecasted result or the free cash flow of the fifth year together with a long-term growth rate corresponding to the long-term inflation rate in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Under certain circumstances, the growth rates may vary for the individual cash generating units because the probable developments and conditions in the respective markets are taken into account.


As far as possible, the parameters, on which the valuation model is based, are coordinated with external market information. In this context, the value in use of a cash generating unit is most sensitive to changes in the forecasted earnings, changes to the discount rate and changes in the long-term growth rate. The discount rate is determined on the basis of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), which contains a risk-free interest rate, a market risk premium, a small cap premium, as well as a factor for the systematic market risk, i.e. the beta factor.

The long-term growth rates outside the five-year planning period (terminal value), on which the impairment tests for the interim financial reporting per 30 June 2014 were based and which were used for extrapolation purposes, as well as the discount rates for the individual cash generating units were unchanged from the parameters used at 31 December 2013. The parameters used are explained in note 19 of the 2013 annual report.

The discount rate is directly influenced by the fluctuation of interest rates. On account of the currently historically low interest rate levels on the market, the discount rate of the cash generating units has not changed in comparison with the previous year. In a longer-term comparison, the present interest rate environment is also reflected in substantially lower interest income as well as corresponding lower annual earnings and free cash flows distributable to shareholders. On account of the fact that the discount rate is linked to current interest rate levels, when the latter rise, basically the discount rate, and interest income, will also rise. The cash generating units are exposed to only a limited level of risk because they operate in a local market, and only in retail and private banking with a limited risk profile.


During the periodic preparation and execution of impairment tests all the parameters and assumptions, on which the testing of the individual cash generating units is based, are reviewed, and if necessary, adjusted. A change in the risk-free interest rate has an influence on the discount rate, whereby a change in the economic situation, especially in the financial services industry, also has an impact on the expected or estimated results. In order to check these effects on the value in use of the individual cash generating units, the parameters and assumptions employed with the valuation model are subjected to a sensitivity analysis. For this purpose the forecasted free cash flow attributable to shareholders is changed by 10 %, the discount rate by 10 % and the long-term growth rates by 10 %. Management is of the opinion that a change in the assumptions and parameters would not lead to an impairment in the case of the Retail & Corporate Banking Segment. According to the results of the impairment tests and based on the described assumptions, an amount of CHF 83.0 million in excess of the balance sheet value is obtained for the Retail & Corporate Banking Segment. A reduction of the long-term growth rate of 10 %, an increase of the discount rate by 10 %, or a reduction of the free cash flow by 10 %, would not lead to an impairment in the case of the Retail & Corporate Banking Segment. Management estimates that an impairment of goodwill in the Retail & Corporate Banking Segment in the coming business years is not probable. Management believes that in the medium to long term the segment will enjoy a positive development thanks to its relative strength in comparison with competitors, as well as to the planned and already implemented cost-cutting and efficiency improvement measures made in the mentioned segment.

If the estimated earnings and other assumptions in the coming business years deviate from the current outlook due to political or global risks in the banking industry – such as for example due to uncertainty in connection with the implementation of regulatory provisions and the introduction of certain legislation, or a decline in general economic performance – this could result in an impairment of the goodwill in future. This would lead to a charge in the income statement of the LLB Group and would reduce the equity attributable to shareholders and net profit. However, such an impairment would not have an impact on the cash flow or on the tier 1 ratio because, in accordance with the Liechtenstein equity capital ordinance, goodwill must be deducted from capital.

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