UBS to axe over 8,500 jobs

15-04-2009

UBS to axe over 8,500 jobs
Swiss banking giant UBS is to cut nearly 9,000 jobs as it struggles to weather the current financial storm.

At today's AGM in Zurich, group chief executive officer Oswald J Grübel will tell shareholders the bank needs to cut costs and focus on its core business operations of wealth management and investment banking.

Announcing a first quarter loss of two billion Swiss francs (£1.17 billion), Mr Grübel said the current economic climate called for "drastic measures."

The bank will axe 8,700 jobs from its current workforce of 76,200 with Switzerland and the Asia Pacific region expected to be badly hit. The aim is to save the company between 3.5 and four billion Swiss francs.

Mr Grübel said: "Changed market conditions and the reduced levels of business such as we're experiencing today necessitate downsizing our firm.

"These cuts are very painful, but sadly unavoidable."

But despite the announcement, the UBS chief sounded a note of optimism for the future.

"It will be a long road back to success without any quick fixes. Rather, we will move forward step by step in a rigorous and disciplined manner. This will require a lot of energy, but I can assure you that energy is something UBS has more than enough of."

The bank has already received five billion francs in bailouts from the Swiss government.

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