UBS set to cut its return on equity target, says report

City A.M. Reporter
UBS will cut its return on equity target by five percentage points to 10-15 per cent at an investor day next month when the Swiss bank is expected to announce shrinking its investment bank, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The SonntagZeitung said the new target would be announced by Sergio Ermotti who took over as interim chief executive last month after Oswald Gruebel stepped down over the $2.3bn unauthorised trading scandal.

UBS declined to comment on the article, according to Reuters.

Two years ago, Gruebel set a medium-term return-on-equity target of 15-20 per cent along with other ambitious forecasts which he had already been forced to abandon in recent months as the UBS investment bank failed to deliver.

Citing an unnamed manager familiar with Ermotti’s plan, the newspaper said Ermotti would not set an absolute profit target but would announce cuts to the investment bank, which should in future be oriented to serving the wealth management business.

However, the newspaper said UBS wanted to maintain its leading position in some investment banking businesses, including global foreign exchange and equities trading.