Chronology of turbulence at Swiss bank UBS

18th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

No sooner has Swiss banking giant UBS regained its footing from the financial crisis and a bitter tax evasion spat with the United States, than it has been once again knocked off its feet by a rogue trader who lost it $2.3 billion.

Here is a chronology of the events that have battered Switzerland's financial flagship in recent years.

OCTOBER 1, 2007: Bank issues profit warning for third quarter and $4.4 billion in writedowns on fixed income due to US subprime-related losses. Some 1,500 jobs cut in Investment Banking, the first in a series over more than a year.

OCTOBER 30, 2007: UBS confirms third quarter 830 million franc loss. Warning of fixed income exposure to deteriorating US mortgage markets.

DECEMBER 10, 2007: Additional writedowns of $10 billion announced. Warning of a record full year loss. UBS plans to strengthen capital with 13 billion francs from Singapore and an unnamed Middle Eastern investor.

FEBRUARY 14, 2008: Historic annual loss of 4.4 billion Swiss francs for 2007. Total writedowns on US residential mortgage market: 18.7 billion dollars.

APRIL 1, 2008: Further writedowns of $19 billion on US real estate and structured credit. Warning of a huge first quarter net loss. Chairman Marcel Ospel to bow out at AGM on April 23.

APRIL 18, 2008: UBS report to shareholders reveals that the investment banking unit was to blame for the bulk of subprime losses.

APRIL 23, 2008: Chief legal counsel Peter Kurer appointed chairman at AGM.

AUGUST 12, 2008: UBS reports bigger-than-expected 358 million francs second-quarter loss. Writes down another $5.0 billion on its US business. Worried clients desert bank, asset outflow reaches 43.9 billion francs.

OCTOBER 16, 2008: Unprecedented $61 billion Swiss government and central bank aid package including takeover of toxic assets in a ring-fenced "Stabfund."

NOVEMBER 4, 2008: A 296-million-franc third-quarter net profit reported, but a warning for the fourth. Net outflows reached 83.6 billion francs for the third quarter alone.

NOVEMBER 27, 2008: UBS shareholders approve rescue package and another capital hike of 6.0 billion francs.

FEBRUARY 10, 2009: UBS records biggest full-year loss in Swiss corporate history: 19.7 billion francs for 2008. Another 2,000 jobs cut in Investment Banking, total of 11,000 since October 2007.

FEBRUARY 18, 2009: UBS admits to tax fraud in the United States and pays $780 million to the US government. It also agrees to turn over data on up to 300 clients to tax authorities.

FEBRUARY 19, 2009: The United States file a lawsuit to compel UBS to reveal the identities of some 52,000 US clients who could be hiding as much as $14.8 billion in secret accounts. UBS refuses to give up data.

FEBRUARY 26, 2009: Marcel Rohner, chief executive of the bank, resigns. He is replaced by former Credit Suisse chief executive, Oswald Gruebel.

MARCH 4, 2009: Peter Kurer, chairman of the bank, says he will not seek re-election. Former Swiss finance minister Kaspar Villiger nominated to succeed him.

APRIL 15, 2009: First quarter 2 billion franc loss, cuts 8,700 jobs.

JUNE 26, 2009: UBS seeks to raise 3.8 billion francs, warns of second quarter loss.

AUGUST 19, 2009: UBS says it will hand over details of 4,450 accounts to US authorities as part of tax fraud case settlement, a move that heralded the end of banking secrecy.

FEBRUARY 9, 2010: UBS finally returns to profitability, with 1.20 billion Swiss franc in earnings (1.12 billion dollars, 821 million euros) in the final quarter of 2009.

JULY 1, 2011: UBS names former Bundesbank chief Axel Weber as its next chairman.

AUGUST 23, 2011: Bank announces 3,500 job cuts.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011: UBS announces discovery of unauthorised trading in its investment bank which has led to an estimated loss of $2 billion. London police confirms that they have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection to the case.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2011: British police charged trader Kweku Adoboli over the fraud.

SEPTEMBER 18: UBS revises losses of the fraud upwards to $2.3 billion.

© 2011 AFP

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