UBS to Trim 10,000 Jobs, Reports Say

By Antonio Perez
Antonio Perez
Antonio Perez
October 28, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS is seen on Oct. 13 in Zurich. The bank could announce layoffs of 10,000 employees this week at its earnings release on Oct. 30.  (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS is seen on Oct. 13 in Zurich. The bank could announce layoffs of 10,000 employees this week at its earnings release on Oct. 30. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Swiss banking giant UBS AG will announce job cuts of around 10,000—more than one-sixth of the bank—and drastically trim the footprint of its investment banking operations, according to several reports Sunday.

The Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources, that the Zurich-based UBS will put its fixed-income operations into a new, non-core company, which it will wind down over the next several years. The equities trading, investment banking, and foreign exchange businesses will remain in a much smaller investment-banking arm.

The non-core business will be headed by Carsten Kengeter, co-head of its investment bank. The announcement is expected to come at its quarterly earnings release on Oct. 30.

A UBS representative did not respond to a request for comment regarding the report, as no news had been officially announced yet.

Dramatic Transformations

UBS has been restructuring itself over the past several quarters after Swiss regulators urged UBS and competitor Credit Suisse AG to boost their capital ratios (to 19 percent) compared to the size of their risk-weighted assets.

The plan, if announced and implemented, would severely trim UBS’s capital-intensive fixed-income business, and reduce around 100 billion Swiss francs ($107 billion) in risk-weighted assets from UBS’s balance sheet. In addition, it would cut costs in the form of staff reductions and management layoffs.

If the job cuts go ahead, they would represent a sizable portion of UBS’s global workforce, which was at around 63,000 at the end of June. UBS is already in the middle of cutting 3,500 employees from a previous layoff announcement.

After the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the company announced in the past that it would scale back its investment banking operations and get back to its root business of wealth management and financial advisory.

UBS’s investment banking operations are currently concentrated in London and New York.

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