“We see a lot of contraction in the number of people in our industry,” UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti said in the interview, acknowledging that a large share of the bank's nearly 95,000 employees and contractors could eventually become redundant.
“You can have 30 percent less,” he said, pointing out that technological changes would make banking operations “faster — much more efficient, proficient,” allowing a single banker to double his or her client load.
The change, he said, would not happen all at once.
“It's not the Big Bang; it's going to be very gradual,” Ermotti said.
While there will surely be fewer jobs, he stressed that those remaining would “be much more interesting jobs, where the human content is crucial to the delivery of the service.”
And while technology would help banks like UBS reduce costs, Ermotti pointed out that “you're also going to have to reinvest a lot of your savings to keep your tech capabilities up to speed.”