UBS celebrates with watches

In these days of cutbacks and (relative) austerity among the world’s investment banks, it’s good to see that the Swiss-based UBS is trying to muster up a celebratory mood.

UBS is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and in so doing has given each of its 65,000 employees worldwide a Swatch watch.

The gesture has gone down reasonably well in London, where bankers are at least relieved that the Swatch, even if it isn’t an Omega or a Rolex, is wearable. They compare it with a gift the bank gave them around ten years ago, which featured a cow like the one pictured.

However, some of the women at UBS are disappointed that the watch they have been given is a unisex one, since they feel it is perhaps more like a man’s than a woman’s.

All in all, though, the troops at the UBS headquarters in Broadgate have taken the gesture well and are getting in the spirit of the celebrations, which have been given an additional lift from a lunchtime orchestra.

This must contrast with the mood of those who work for Swiss-owned rival Credit Suisse, where employees are braced for some fairly hefty job cuts by all accounts.

UBS is also awaiting the arrival of the stylish banker Andrea Orcel, who is bound to bring some colour to the place. But will he arrive in time to get his Swatch?

City workers have raised £25,000 for charity by testing parts of the official Olympic Road on their bikes. Teams from City firms, including Ashurst, Centrica, Deloitte, Moneycorp and UBS, have raised the funds for the development agency CARE to support some of the poorest people in the world. To take part each participant had to raise a minimum of £150.

The race, which was sponsored by City A.M, led the bikers out from the centre of London to Dorking and back. The next cycling challenge to come is a bike tour from London to Brighton, which will also raise funds for CARE.