UBS to cut around 300 investment banking jobs: sources

Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:53am EDT
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By Anjuli Davies and Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S: Quote) plans to cut around six percent of its investment banking jobs in Europe in the coming weeks, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Swiss bank plans to lose about 300 staff out of an estimated 5,000 currently working in front and back office roles in the region under ex-Merrill Lynch dealmaker Andrea Orcel.

The move comes after UBS imposed a pay freeze in February across its investment banking arm as banks in Europe try to cut costs to improve profitability.

In January, Barclays said it would cut 1,000 investment bank staff on top of some 7,000 job losses already announced. Deutsche Bank, UniCredit, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Standard Chartered also announced job cuts in the second half of 2015.

UBS has reshaped its strategy in the wake of the global financial crisis, slimming down its investment bank and focusing more on its wealth management business, which now accounts for more than half of its operating profit.

Market volatility, however, has shown that few banks are immune when tumultuous times prompt rich clients to retreat to the sidelines.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said on Wednesday that challenging conditions had continued into 2016.

"Given the lack of clarity in certain aspects of regulation, there is also a risk that some costs that we view as temporary today may not fall away completely," Ermotti told a financial conference in London.   Continued...

The company's logo is seen at a branch of Swiss bank UBS in Zurich, Switzerland February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann