Banking Crisis

UBS Could Shrink Jobs By Up To 30 Per Cent After Credit Suisse Takeover – Media

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 3 April 2023

UBS Could Shrink Jobs By Up To 30 Per Cent After Credit Suisse Takeover – Media

Almost a fortnight after the momentous and controversial takeover of Credit Suisse, speculation swirls about the scale of job cuts that UBS might enact once the transaction is completed.

UBS will cut its workforce by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent after it completes its Credit Suisse takeover, according to Swiss publication SonntagsZeitung.

According to the English-translation version of the news service’s article: “Based on around 120,000 full-time positions that the two banks have offered so far, there are 25,000 to 36,000 jobs that will be lost. In Switzerland there are up to 11,000. Although a savings programme was running at CS before the merger, the number of layoffs will be significantly higher than planned.”

The newspaper quoted “insiders,” but gave no names. 

A week after the UBS takeover of its embattled rival was announced, the Zurich-listed lender said it was bringing back Sergio Ermotti as CEO, a position he held from 2011 to 2020 before stepping down. A Swiss national, Ermotti is seen as having the experience and official state backing to make the difficult choices needed to integrate Credit Suisse. The takeover of Credit Suisse was carried out without a call for shareholder approval. 

According to Bloomberg yesterday, a spokesperson for UBS declined to comment. 

At the end of last year, about 125,000 people worked for both banks and about 30 per cent are in Switzerland.

At the WealthBriefing European Awards event in London on Thursday last week, several people told this publication that headhunters are being deluged with queries from Credit Suisse and former Credit Suisse staff looking for new jobs. 

Bloomberg said yesterday that Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General said that it had opened a probe into the takeover and was working to identify possible crimes. (The legal organisation made no reference to the matter on its website yesterday evening.) 

A separate report in the Wall Street Journal said Switzerland’s prosecutors are probing the government-orchestrated takeover of Credit Suisse. The federal prosecutor has reached out to national and local authorities and “issued investigation orders” to analyze and identify if any criminal offenses took place under the deal, which also involved the government, the financial regulator, Finma, and Switzerland’s central bank, the WSJ said, quoting a spokesperson.

“In view of the relevance of the events, the office of the attorney general wants to proactively fulfill their mandate and their responsibility to contribute to a clean Swiss financial center,” the organization said. The WSJ said representatives for Credit Suisse, UBS and the Swiss finance ministry declined to comment.

A report in the Financial Times on Saturday said that UBS has lined up a shortlist of four management consultants to advise on integrating Credit Suisse: Bain & Company, the Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Co and Oliver Wyman. The FT cited unnamed sources.

This publication has commented about the Credit Suisse saga, touching on points including how its sale leaves Switzerland with only one universal bank – a level of market concentration that raises potential competition issues.

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