UBS spending $1 billion on IT overhaul

Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:22am EDT
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By Joshua Franklin and Angelika Gruber

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS UBSG.S, the world's biggest private bank, is spending around 1 billion Swiss francs ($1 billion) to standardize the IT platform across its flagship wealth management business, an investment it hopes will ultimately help lower costs.

"This is about integrating our historically fragmented infrastructure that we have globally into one platform," the Swiss bank's chief operating officer for wealth management, Dirk Klee, told Reuters.

"So we want to have the same processes, the same way of approaching UBS and we also want to raise synergies and scale in the back office."

UBS did not give an estimate for the savings envisaged.

The project to unify the IT structure, known as One Wealth Management Platform, began in 2013, with UBS aiming to have it finished by end-2018.

A unified IT structure will make it easier to roll out digital features UBS is testing, Klee said, including its new online wealth management platform, SmartWealth.

If a pilot programme for SmartWealth in Britain, announced last week, is successful, UBS will roll out the programme in other markets, he added.

They would include major markets in Europe and in Asia Pacific, where UBS has hubs in Singapore and Hong Kong.   Continued...

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at its headquarters Zurich in this July 27, 2015 file photo. To match story SWISS-BANKS/ASIAPAC-WEALTH  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files