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UBS said to plan job cuts in Europe

Eighty to 90 jobs to be cut at its European investment-banking division

Gulf News

Zurich: UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, plans to cut about 80 to 90 jobs in its European investment- banking division as part of a global revamp, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The cutbacks, which are likely to take place before year- end, would amount to about 17 per cent of staff within the region’s investment-banking division and include junior and senior bankers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The division includes merger advisory and equity and debt capital markets.

The reductions probably will kick off a fresh round of job cuts within the broader investment bank, which includes UBS’s fixed-income and equities units, said the people. Pretax profit at the investment bank, which employed 16,432 globally at the end of June, slumped 55 per cent in the first half from a year earlier. The Zurich-based firm, which said last year it would trim about 1,600 jobs at the unit, speeded up those plans and has already reached the headcount target it had set for the end of 2013. Further cuts may amount to more than 10 per cent of the investment bank’s staff, estimated one person.

“Back in November of last year, I don’t think that even a pessimistic outlook for the next 12 months would tell you what we are living in,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said on July 31. “The environment has completely changed. We have been very proactive in accelerating taking down costs as we saw the new environment developing and we will not be shy to continue to do so as we see the market changing.”

New Reality

Ermotti told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft in an interview published Sept. 15 that the bank will continue to trim jobs at the securities unit to adjust to “the new reality,” and that the cuts would affect people in the front office as well as in supporting functions.

Dominik Von Arx, a UBS spokesman in London, declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank AG said in July that it will eliminate as many as 1,900 jobs, mostly outside Germany, including 1,500 at the investment bank and support areas. Co-CEO Juergen Fitschen said last week there will be more reductions than previously announced, without elaborating.