UBS to battle Occupy camp

UBS could begin legal action this week against protesters who have taken over a disused City building owned by the Swiss bank.

The bank’s lawyers spent the weekend considering their next step after the Occupy London group made the empty block its third site after setting up outside St Paul’s Cathedral and at Finsbury Square. The UBS site on Sun Street in Hackney was also used by squatters during the G20 meeting in London in 2008.

Activists, who “repossessed” the UBS building by using ladders to scale the walls in the early hours on Friday, said they had targeted the bank because of the bailout it received from the Swiss government in 2008 and because of the “rogue” trading scandal earlier this year. Suspect Kweku Adoboli is due to enter a plea when he appears at Southwark Crown court tomorrow.

The start of the occupation came just hours after UBS announced more cuts at its investment bank.

The occupiers set up a “Bank of Ideas”and yesterday ran a series of talks from academics and campaigners including one entitled “Where Next? Continuing the Struggle after the Eviction”.

They also hosted a speech by Allessio Rastani, the controversial trader who said he “dreams of another recession” every night. Yesterday the group held a “conference” for about 40 representatives of camps from around Britain and Ireland.

A spokesman for UBS said the bank is taking “appropriate action” although the protest is not thought to have had any impact so far on the activities of the wealth manager.

Meanwhile the legal case brought by the City of London Corporation against the St Paul’s protesters is expected to open in the High Court this week. Members of the camp ignored a demand to clear around 200 tents from the highway by Thursday evening.

Activists have said they will stay “as long as they can” and received a visit from fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood at a rally on Saturday.