UBS says male staff excess led to Libor fixing

Tim Wallace
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THE ROTTEN culture in parts of Swiss bank UBS could be improved by hiring more female staff, investment banking chief Andrea Orcel told MPs and peers yesterday.

He estimated that 90 per cent or more of UBS’ traders are male, describing such a ratio as “a shortcoming” at the bank and agreeing with MP Pat McFadden that recruiting more women could be “a simple measure … to change the culture.”

Orcel told the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards the bank was engulfed in the Libor rigging scandal in part because the institution was so broad and so complicated that no unifying culture could be maintained, allowing bad behaviour to develop unchecked.

But he and other UBS chiefs insisted that lessons had been learned, claiming the scandal was one catalyst for the internal debate which resulted in much of the bank’s fixed income business being wound down.