Swiss bank set to announce record loss
The Swiss bank has been hit hard by many of the recent financial scandals, including the Bernard Madoff fraud.Geneva -- Switzerland's biggest bank is to announce the biggest loss in the country's history, running into billions of dollars, a newspaper reported this weekend.
The newspaper said that UBS would record an overall loss in 2008 of 20 billion Swiss francs (18 billion dollars), in spite of showing a profit of 296 million francs in the third quarter, when it reports results on February 10.
The German language newspaper SonntagsZeitung, which is generally well-informed, said that the bank had racked up 8 billion francs (7 billion dollars) in losses in the final quarter of 2008, bringing the total for the year to 20 billion
UBS admitted in the autumn when it announced third quarter results that the global financial crisis had hit it hard and warned it could lose up to 5 billion francs in the final quarter.
UBS was heavily exposed to risky American subprime mortgage business and had to write down almost 47 billion dollars in share values. In recent months, clients have taken fright and withdrawn a total of 83.6 billion francs.
The Swiss government intervened in October with a rescue plan of 60 billion dollars.
Since then, the bank has been hit by the fraudulent Ponzi scheme of American fraudster Bernard Madoff and the failure of the American subsidiary of the Dutch group LyondellBasell. Its share value has fallen two thirds over the year.