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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Swiss bank UBS to cut 8,700 jobs

BBC News

Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, has said it will seek to cut costs by shedding 8,700 jobs by next year.

The news came as the bank announced it had lost about 2bn Swiss francs ($1.75bn; £1.2bn) in the first three months of 2009.

UBS has been one of the biggest banks hit by exposure to the sub-prime loans crisis in the US and ensuing turmoil.

The Swiss bank is also being probed by the US authorities over alleged fraud and tax evasion involving US citizens.


"UBS seeks to realise substantial cost savings in all areas. Major job cuts are unfortunately unavoidable. UBS expects to reduce the number of its employees to about 67,500 in 2010," said the bank, which employed 76,200 people at the end of March

The bank is hoping to make savings of 4bn Swiss francs and said the job cuts were "unfortunately unavoidable".

UBS said it will shed 2,500 jobs in Switzerland, and thousands in the US, but did not say how many may be lost in the UK, where it employs 7,000 people.

It also said that it had seen 7bn Swiss francs of business customers' money leave the bank during the first quarter.

The announcement came ahead of the bank's annual shareholder meeting.

Tax talks

The world financial downturn has already forced UBS to make about $50bn in write-downs and to announce 11,000 job cuts since the middle of 2007.

In late 2008, it transferred billions in toxic debts to a fund owned by the Swiss National Bank to take them off its balance sheet.

Meanwhile, the bank remains embroiled in talks with the US authorities over tax issues.

In February, UBS agreed to pay $780m (£525m) to the US government to settle allegations that it had defrauded US tax authorities.



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