16 Apr 2009

Swiss bank UBS cuts jobs, posts loss

7:00 am on 16 April 2009

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, will cut 8,700 more jobs as it moves to stem losses and client withdrawals.

The bank will post a first-quarter loss of nearly two billion Swiss francs mainly due to writedowns and outflows at its prized wealth management unit, chief executive Oswald Gruebel said.

He announced plans to cut staff by 11% to 67,500 in 2010, down from 76,200 last month, in a bid to save up to 4 billion francs.

The new job cuts come on top of thousands already announced during the crisis and mean UBS will have shrunk its workforce by almost a fifth from a peak of 83,800 a year ago.

The crisis has already forced the world's biggest wealth manager to announce $US50 billion of writedowns. Its shares have lost nearly three-quarters of their value in the last 12 months.

The first-quarter loss follows about 3.9 billion francs of losses on illiquid assets and 23 billion francs of outflows at the bank's wealth management and Swiss bank division.

UBS said the outflows mainly came after the bank agreed in February to reveal details of some US clients and said it would pay a $US780 million fine to settle a U.S. tax fraud investigation alleging it helped clients dodge taxes.