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UBS announces 3,500 job losses

AFP · 23 Aug 2011, 09:20

Published: 23 Aug 2011 09:20 GMT+02:00

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Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday announced plans to slash 3,500 jobs in order to make savings of some 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.5 billion).

UBS aims to make the personnel cuts "through redundancies as well as natural attrition", the biggest Swiss bank said in a statement.  

The news follows hard on the heels of an announcement last month by Credit Suisse, second only to UBS in Switzerland, of 2,000 job cuts after a 52 percent plunge in its second quarter profit due to Europe's debt crisis and global economic fears.  

UBS's quarterly figures in July were similarly disappointing, with profit down 49 percent to 1.015 billion francs.  

UBS, based in Zurich, said at the time it announced those figures that it would slash costs by 1.5 to 2.0 billion francs over the next two to three years, a move which would force it to book "significant restructuring charges later this year". 

"UBS today provides an update on its plans to eliminate expenses of a total of approximately 2.0 billion Swiss francs from annual costs by the end of 2013," the company statement said.  

"These plans include savings associated with headcount reductions of approximately 3,500, which will be achieved through redundancies as well as natural attrition, and further real estate rationalization."  

Of the expected 3,500 staff reductions, approximately 45 percent will come from the company's investment bank, 35 percent from its Wealth Management and Swiss Bank arm, 10 percent from Global Asset Management, and 10 percent from Wealth Management Americas.  

UBS estimates the associated restructuring to cost 550 million Swiss francs, most of which will be booked in the second half of 2011.  

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"The measures announced today are designed to improve operating efficiency. UBS will continue to be vigilant in managing its cost base while remaining committed to investing in growth areas," the company said in its statement.  

Swiss media had reported earlier that the bank would slash 5,000 jobs, in line with banks elsewhere such as British group Lloyds which announced 15,000 cuts and US financial giant Goldman Sachs which said it would axe 1,000 employees.

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