UBS cuts staff


 David Laurent/Wide (archives)

Finance: One of Switzerland’s largest banks announced “an update” to its cost restructuring plan Tuesday morning, including the loss of 3,500 staff.

The firm aims to save more than two billion Swiss francs in annual expenses by 2013, it said in a press statement. In addition to layoffs, UBS said it would achieve savings through “natural attrition, and further real estate rationalization.

The bank had warned it would cut jobs when it posted lower-than-expected second quarter earnings in July.

While the entire Swiss finance sector is under pressure due to the rising value of the Swiss franc and diminished bank secrecy, the giant has suffered more than many competitors. “Whereas the UBS client base has been going away,” rivals have been better at retaining private banking customers, explains Professor Thorsten Hens of the University of Zurich, who has consulted for Credit Suisse.

A UBS spokeswoman told Delano.lu the bank isn’t breaking out job reductions by region or country, so could not comment on the potential impact in the Grand Duchy.

UBS has more than 450 employees in Luxembourg, including 410 in its wealth management division. The bank’s press statement said it expected 35 percent of redundancies would come from its wealth management business.