UBS slashes 3,500 jobs to shrink costs

SWITZERLAND’S biggest bank UBS became the latest major global bank to announce swingeing job cuts yesterday as it set out the detail of a 2bn Swiss franc (£1.5bn) cost-cutting plan.

UBS said it would cut 3,500 jobs, about five per cent of its global workforce, by the end of 2013 as it copes with falling revenues, growing regulatory limits on its business and pain from the strong Swiss currency.

Almost half of the job losses will be felt in its investment bank, which has been hit hardest by the downturn in the global economy.

London is also likely to bear many of the job cuts as a major investment banking centre. City A.M. understands about 300 jobs are likely to be lost in the City out of about 1,575 from the investment bank globally.

“The measures announced today are designed to improve operating efficiency. UBS will continue to be vigilant in managing its cost base while remaining committed to investing in growth areas,” it said in a statement.

Nearly 1,600 jobs will be lost from its wealth management arms in Switzerland and the Americas, while 350 will go from its global asset management division.

UBS said the cuts would cost about 550m francs to implement, with most borne in the second half of the year.

“The emphasis on scaling back harder in investment banking than wealth management recognises where the value in the group lies,” said Collins Stewart analyst Matthew Czepliewicz.