UBS exits private banking in Portugal

14th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

To cut costs, UBS closes its private banking operations in Portugal.

GENEVA - Switzerland's biggest bank UBS, which lost billions in the financial crisis, closed its private banking operations in Portugal due to the adverse economic climate, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"UBS is undertaking measures to adjust to a changed economic environment", said the bank's spokeswoman.

She said that UBS created the private bank subsidiary in Portugal at the beginning of 2008 as a "natural step in a period of expansion".

But "this is no longer so currently", she added, noting that cost control was now a key focus for the bank.

Nine positions would be affected by the closure. Investment banking operations in the country remain intact, said the spokeswoman, who would discuss other possible closures.

UBS, which is scheduled to publish its annual results on 10 February, is expected to announce a loss of CHF 20 billion (EUR 13.48 billion) for 2008, according to Swiss media reports.

In the fourth quarter alone, losses are expected to run up to CHF 8 billion, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday.

[AFP / Expatica]

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