Investor piles pressure on troubled UBS

EMBATTLED bank UBS faces new pressure after its largest shareholder broke its silence to criticise the failures that led to the $2.3bn (£1.5bn) “rogue” trading scandal.

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp, which has a 6.4 per cent stake in UBS, has met senior managers and urged them to take “firm” action to restore confidence, although it also offered a general statement of support.

“GIC expressed disappointment and concern at the lapses and urged UBS to take firm action to restore confidence in the bank,” it said.

“GIC’s view of UBS’s fundamental strength as a well-capitalised bank with a strong private wealth management franchise remains unchanged.”

The eastern sovereign wealth fund runs more than $100bn of assets around the world but makes few public comments. It has lost about 77 per cent of its 11bn Swiss franc (£7.86bn) investment in UBS.

GIC is not thought to be considering selling its shares, however, despite a torrid few days for UBS, which has seen the bank face a wave of international criticism and several ratings reviews ahead of a possible credit downgrade.

It has emerged, however, that UBS’s plans for a new £340m London home are continuing. Sources said that British Land, co-owner of the site with private equity giant Blackstone, held its usual weekly project meeting with stakeholders yesterday.

UBS, which declined to comment, is currently the largest tenant in the City’s Broadgate development.

It had just started to rebound from near collapse during the financial crisis -- as well as a damaging US investigation into the bank allegedly aiding wealthy Americans to dodge taxes -- when the “rogue trading” scandal struck.

London trader Kweku Adoboli has been charged with fraud and false accounting.