Reports

UBS Begins Planned Job Cuts Amid Planned Restructuring

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 19 May 2021

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As many as 700 jobs could be cut in Switzerland, the report said.

UBS has begun a round of job cuts across divisions including wealth management as part of a restructuring plan designed to erase $1.0 billion in costs over the next three years, Bloomberg reported earlier this week.

The reductions are taking place in the investment bank, wealth management unit and Swiss business, ranging from managing director to junior employees, the news service reported, citing unnamed sources.

The Zurich-listed bank declined to comment on the story when contacted by this publication, other than reiterate the point it made last month that its restructuring amounts to cost savings of around $300 million and that it is broad-based across the group and across geographies.

The newswire said that over the next three years, as many as 700 positions are expected to be axed in Switzerland alone, with the bulk at the corporate cost centre and about 200 between wealth management and the bank’s Swiss unit for personal and corporate banking. This is in addition to about 125 cuts still to come from a previous wealth restructuring.

Ralph Hamers, CEO, who is in his first year in the role, is pushing to increase digitising UBS’s operations. As part of that move, the bank appointed Mike Darganas as chief digital and information officer at the start of May.

Another change that was announced in the Q1 results, starting with the Q1 figures, was that UBS would be introducing net new fee-generating assets as a new performance measure for the global wealth management arm. This measure is designed to capture growth in clients’ invested assets from net flows related to mandates, investment funds with recurring fees, hedge funds and private markets investments, combined with dividend and interest payments into mandates, less fees paid to UBS by clients. 

Compared with net new money, net new fee-generating assets exclude flows related to assets that primarily generate revenues when traded in the form of commissions and transaction spreads, or borrowed against in the form of net interest income; it will also exclude deposit flows that generate net interest income, and custody positions that generate custody fees.

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