UBS on Tuesday said it will eliminate 3,500 jobs over the next two years in a cost-cutting move.

The Swiss bank will incur one-time charges of more than 550 million Swiss francs, or $700 million, in the second half of this year.

UBS officials said almost half (45%) of the staff reductions will come from its investment banking unit with the rest derived from its wealth management and global asset management units.

In a statement announcing the layoffs, the firm said the headcount reduction was "designed to improve operating efficiency" and that "UBS will continue to be vigilant in managing its cost base while remaining committed to investing in growth area."

UBS CEO Oswald Grubel last month warned that serious cost-cutting measures were on the way after the company's second-quarter profit fell 50% from the year-ago quarter (1 billion Swiss francs versus 2 billion Swiss francs). He said the company planned to lop off more than 2 billion Swiss francs in costs.

UBS, which has taken heat from some analysts for failing to articulate and execute a clear strategy for its investment banking unit, isn't the only international bank to announce layoffs in recent months.

Last week, Bank of America announced it would lay off 3,500 workers in the next few months and as many as 10,000 in total.

HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group are in the process of pink-slipping 30,000 and 15,000 workers, respectively, while Credit Suisse said it would eliminate 2,000 positions.

UBS officials said a "substantial majority" of its restructuring costs will be recognized in the third quarter.


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