UBS chief's pay rises by a fifth as metals probe revealed

Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:23am EDT
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By Katharina Bart

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS UBSN.VX hiked Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti's pay by more than a fifth in 2013, when the Swiss bank added probes into its metals trading and foreign exchange businesses to a long list of legal troubles.

Details of Ermotti's pay were published in the bank's annual report on Friday, the same day that Hong Kong's de facto central bank rapped UBS for compliance failures over how it estimated the city's benchmark lending rate.

Switzerland's largest bank is grappling with the fallout from several major investigations, after paying $1.5 billion to global regulators in 2012 to settle allegations of interest-rate rigging.

UBS said on Friday that it was investigating its precious metals trading in a probe that grew out of global regulators' examination of alleged rigging in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign currency market.

Pay, a closely watched topic in Switzerland after voters last year backed some of the world's strictest controls on executive remuneration, comes under particular scrutiny at UBS because taxpayers funded a 6 billion franc bailout of the Swiss bank in 2008.

Ermotti's pay rose nearly 21 percent to 10.73 million Swiss francs ($12.30 million).

But UBS's highest-paid executive was investment banking chief Andrea Orcel, who earned 11.43 million francs in 2013. Chairman Axel Weber was paid nearly 6.1 million francs.

Last month, UBS drew fire for saying compensation at the bank was "normalized" from 2012 when it was fined.   Continued...

Sergio Ermotti, CEO of Swiss bank UBS, attends the general shareholders meeting in Zurich May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich