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UBS Starts Cutting Up to 700 Jobs Across Wealth Unit, Investment Bank

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UBS Group AG has started a broad round of job cuts across its largest divisions as part of a restructuring plan intended to save the bank $1 billion over the next three years.

The reductions are taking place in the investment bank, wealth management unit and Swiss business, ranging from managing director to junior employees, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Over the next three years, as many as 700 positions are expected to be eliminated in Switzerland alone, with the bulk at the corporate cost center and about 200 between wealth management and the bank’s Swiss unit for personal and corporate banking, the people said.

That’s on top of about 125 cuts still to come from a previous wealth restructuring.

Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers, in his first year in the job, is taking a deep look at where he can cut costs and digitize the bank’s offering. During first quarter earnings last month, the bank said that it would take a $300 million restructuring charge related to the cuts in the second quarter, without giving any concrete details.

UBS declined to comment.

The job cuts this month are a first wave, the people said, as more reductions are expected over the next three years as the bank rolls out its digital strategy.

At least a dozen managing directors and junior employees in the advisory and trading units of the investment bank recently lost their jobs, while another five managing directors and several executive directors in the wealth management division were also let go, the people said.

The investment bank cuts were mostly roles that almost exclusively served the wealth unit’s clients, the people said.

UBS was among several global banks to be hurt by the implosion of U.S. family office Archegos Capital Management, taking a $861 million hit that surprised investors because it disclosed the impact much later than many rivals.

(Photo: Bloomberg)

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