UBS to cut 8,700 jobs after announcing more losses

UBS Zurich - The Swiss banking giant UBS said Wednesday it will take a first quarter loss of almost 2 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars) and will cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by 2010. "Unfortunately I am not able, as yet, to offer you any good news," Oswald Grubel, Chief Executive Officer of the UBS Group was expected to tell shareholders later at an annual meeting. He took over his role in February this year.

Most of the new losses were in further writedowns and cash outflows in its wealth management divisions.

The bank was to close this quarter announcing an overall outflow, despite positive net inflows of 16 billion francs in its onshore management business in the United States.

To save between 3.5 and 4 billion francs next year, UBS said it would reduce its staff from 76,200 to 67,500. Some of the cuts would be in its home base in Switzerland.

In 2008, the bank took losses of over 20 billion francs and has already announced over 11,000 job cuts in the last year.

UBS, which suffered more writedowns than any other bank in Europe and had to be bailed out by the government and central bank, said it would continue to reduce risks and focus on its core wealth management business.

The Swiss bank is considered to be the world's largest manager of wealth.

It took large losses on risky investments, partially in the United States housing market, writing down some 50 billion dollars in assets.

The bank is also entangled in a legal battle in the US over tax fraud allegations. UBS paid 780 million dollars in fines and handed over data on some clients, in spite of Swiss banking secrecy, to the authorities there, as part of a settlement.(dpa)

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