UBS seeks further job cuts

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Some 5,500 will lose their jobs instead of the initial 2,600 posts the Swiss bank has planned to shed.

7 May 2008

ZURICH - Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, on Tuesday confirmed further losses of CHF 11.53 billion and announced more job cuts, as debts from the US subprime crisis continued to unravel.

UBS said the global outlook was gloomy and that it would look to reduce its workforce by a total of 5,500 out of 83,800 by mid-2009 if the situation did not improve. The figure included the 2,600 posts which it plans to shed, mainly in its investment banking sector, by the end of the year.

UBS chief executive Marcel Rohner said the job cuts would include redundancies.

The bank, has been the worst hit worldwide, with a total writedown of USD 37 billion (EUR 40 billion).

It posted the first annual loss in its 10-year history in 2007 of USD 4.4 billion, costing chairman Marcel Ospel his job.

The first quarter losses for 2008 are in sharp contrast to the USD 3.28-billion profit made during the same period in 2007, but were in line with forecasts in April.

UBS said it had lost a further USD 19 billion as a result of the downward spiral in the US subprime market in 2007 and due to conditions it described as "difficult" in 2008 so far.

Considering the market, UBS said, revenue performance in most of its businesses had been "satisfactory".

The bank said in a statement it expected the unfavourable global economic outlook to continue, which would require UBS "to manage costs, resources and capacity very efficiently".

[dpa / Expatica]

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