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UBS surprises with high first quarter profit

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UBS surprises with high first quarter profit
Analysts were surprised by the size of the profit. Photo: UBS
08:40 CEST+02:00
Swiss big bank UBS has reported a net profit of 988 million francs in the first three months of the year, far more than analysts had expected.

The bank returned to profit after recording big losses at the end of last year in connection with the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

In the final quarter of last year UBS lost 1.9 billion francs. For the year as a whole losses totaled 2.2 billion. This included a 1.4 billion franc fine related to the Libor scandal.

But profit from January to March was down 4.5 percent on the same period last year.

AFP said the result was higher than expected by analysts polled by Swiss agency AWP, which had predicted on average a net profit of 510 million Swiss francs.

UBS said in a statement the bank had strong results across all its businesses, with very strong results in the Investment Bank division, which UBS is currently restructuring.

Wealth management had delivered the highest levels of quarterly net new money since 2007 and the highest quarterly profit since 2009.

Commenting on the results, CEO Sergio Ermotti said, “While it is too early to declare victory, we have shown our business model works in practice.”

“Although markets improved, we still saw challenges, so I am very pleased with our performance.”

Rival bank Credit Suisse last week posted a net profit for the first quarter of 1.3 billion francs – up from 44 million francs in the same period of 2012. 

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