Part of the Consolidated Financial Statements as of 31 December 2009; audited by KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft.

Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets


Goodwill arises on the acquisition of subsidiaries, associates and jointly controlled entities, and represents the excess of the fair value of the purchase consideration and costs directly attributable to the acquisition over the net fair value of the Group’s share of the identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities and contingent liabilities assumed on the date of the acquisition.

For the purpose of calculating goodwill, fair values of acquired assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities are determined by reference to market values or by discounting expected future cash flows to present value. This discounting is either performed using market rates or by using risk-free rates and risk-adjusted expected future cash flows.

Goodwill on the acquisition of subsidiaries is capitalized and reviewed for impairment annually, or more frequently if there are indications that impairment may have occurred. Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units for the purpose of impairment testing considering the business level at which goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes. On this basis, the Group’s primary cash-generating units are:

  • Global Markets and Corporate Finance (within the Corporate Banking & Securities corporate division);
  • Global Transaction Banking;
  • Asset Management and Private Wealth Management (within the Asset and Wealth Management corporate division);
  • Private & Business Clients; and
  • Corporate Investments.

In addition, for certain nonintegrated investments which are not allocated to the respective segments’ primary cash-generating units, goodwill is tested individually for impairment on the level of each of these nonintegrated investments.

Goodwill on the acquisitions of associates and jointly controlled entities is included in the cost of the investments and the entire carrying amount of the equity method investment is reviewed for impairment annually, or more frequently if there is an indication that impairment may have occurred.

If goodwill has been allocated to a cash-generating unit and an operation within that unit is disposed of, the attributable goodwill is included in the carrying amount of the operation when determining the gain or loss on its disposal.

Intangible assets are recognized separately from goodwill when they are separable or arise from contractual or other legal rights and their fair value can be measured reliably. Intangible assets that have a finite useful life are stated at cost less any accumulated amortization and accumulated impairment losses. Customer-related intangible assets that have a finite useful life are amortized over periods of between 1 and 20 years on a straight-line basis based on their expected useful life. Mortgage servicing rights are carried at cost and amortized in proportion to, and over the estimated period of, net servicing revenue. The assets are tested for impairment and their useful lives reaffirmed at least annually.

Certain intangible assets have an indefinite useful life; these are primarily investment management agreements related to retail mutual funds. These indefinite life intangibles are not amortized but are tested for impairment at least annually or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that impairment may have occurred.

Costs related to software developed or obtained for internal use are capitalized if it is probable that future economic benefits will flow to the Group, and the cost can be measured reliably. Capitalized costs are depreciated using the straight-line method over a period of 1 to 3 years. Eligible costs include external direct costs for materials and services, as well as payroll and payroll-related costs for employees directly associated with an internal-use software project. Overhead costs, as well as costs incurred during the research phase or after software is ready for use, are expensed as incurred.

On acquisition of insurance businesses, the excess of the purchase price over the acquirer’s interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities is accounted for as an intangible asset. This intangible asset represents the present value of future cash flows over the reported liability at the date of acquisition. This is known as value of business acquired (“VOBA”).

The VOBA is amortized at a rate determined by considering the profile of the business acquired and the expected depletion in its value. The VOBA acquired is reviewed regularly for any impairment in value and any reductions are charged as an expense to the income statement.

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