Hanspeter Brunner, former co-chief executive of RBS Coutts, has joined Swiss private bank BSI to build its Asian operations. 

Brunner left a trail of confusion following the news of his departure from the UK bank last month. A few weeks ago, asiamoney.com reported that he had taken a job with ANZ Private Bank.

But a spokeswoman for Lugano-based BSI Bank has confirmed he will finally settle in Singapore in March next year as the firm's head of Asia.

"We can also confirm that, in the context of our regional expansion plans, we intend to substantially increase our staff for our Asian operations," adds the spokeswoman. "We therefore have started advertising our openings in several Asian newspapers three weeks ago."

The overall response so far has been positive, she says. "We are in the process of interviewing applicants that suit our requirements as a Swiss private bank with a long-lasting success story." 

Brunner had been with RBS Coutts since 1997, having joined as head of private banking for Asia. He became CEO of Coutts International -- which manages the private banking businesses in Europe, Asia, Latin America and other offshore financial centres -- in 2000, when he moved to Coutts' Zurich offices. 

Brunner returned to Asia in 2006 as Singapore-based executive chairman for the region, in addition to the CEO role. At the time of his departure, he was CEO of RBS Wealth International and, together with Gerhard Müller, joint CEO of RBS Coutts Bank. Müller has taken over as head of RBS Wealth International.

From 1971 to 1997 Brunner worked with Credit Suisse, mostly in Asia, ending up as managing director of the Hong Kong branch.