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BW Businessworld

Swiss Bank UBS To

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UBS, the world's biggest banker for the rich, will cut 240 jobs in Asia-Pacific across all business lines as part of a global cost cutting exercise, the bank said on Tuesday.

Banking sources had told Reuters earlier that the cuts would be made across business functions and staff levels and included 100 redundancies in Singapore, where it is a strong player in private banking.

The cuts come two months after the Zurich-based bank brought former Credit Suisse boss Oswald Gruebel out of retirement to be installed as its new chief executive. He has recently signalled that further cost cuts would be inevitable.

A UBS spokeswoman in Singapore said the cuts were equivalent to about 3 per cent of its staff in Asia.

Earlier, citing several unnamed sources, the Sonntagszeitung newspaper on Sunday reported that managers had already started telling their staff about job losses, with departments like marketing and support functions hardest hit.

NZZ am Sonntag said Switzerland would also be hit hard this time, with job cuts among the 26,400 due to be announced on April 22, unnamed sources said.

Swiss newspaper Sonntag said last month that the world's largest wealth manager in terms of assets would cut a further 8,000 jobs.

The bank, one of Europe's hardest hit in the financial crisis, has already announced plans to cut more than 10 per cent of its workforce to bring the total staff down to about 75,000 this year.

Oswald Gruebel, a former Credit Suisse boss brought out of retirement by UBS in February as new chief executive, has already signalled that further cost cuts would be inevitable.

Gruebel will address his first UBS shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper said up to a third of staff could go in departments like marketing, while the head of a team catering for institutional investors had been told to cut 15-25 per cent of his team.


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