UBS posts CHF358m second quarter loss

12-08-2008

UBS posts CHF358m second quarter loss
Swiss bank UBS has replaced its chief financial officer after announcing a second quarter loss of CHF358 million (£173 million).

Results were impacted by a further $5.1 billion (£2.7 billion) writedown – bringing the bank's losses due to the credit crisis to $43 billion (£22.6 billion).

UBS, which was Europe's worst affected bank by the credit crisis, said it is replacing chief financial officer Marco Suter, with 48-year-old Briton John Cryan.

Those at executive level have not been the only ones to face the axe and personnel numbers reduced to 81,452 on June 30th 2008, down by 2,387 from March 31st 2008, with most of the reduction in the investment bank, UBS said.

UBS also announced a raft of measures to improve its performance, including separating its business divisions into three autonomous units to give them "increased operational authority and accountability".

Bonuses for management and staff will be directly in line with financial results to maximise profits, the bank added.

A lack of risk management and accountability was blamed for the bank's huge losses in a report published in April.

UBS has already replaced its chairman, Marcel Ospel, with Peter Kurer, the group's senior lawyer.

The bank's outlook did not give cause for optimism among investors. "In the second half of the year, UBS does not expect any improvement in current adverse economic and financial market trends.

"UBS will continue its program to reduce personnel levels, costs and risk concentrations," the bank said in its second quarter statement.

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