SWITZERLAND: UBS Group is trimming hundreds of wealth-related positions across Asia, a short while after finalizing its acquisition of Credit Suisse, according to a report from Bloomberg.
This move comes shortly after UBS completed its acquisition of Credit Suisse, and it is in response to subdued client activity and the slowing economy in China.
Switzerland’s largest bank has already reduced some redundant positions in recent months, and additional workforce reductions are anticipated to continue until November.
This information comes from individuals familiar with the matter, who wish to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the plans.
The lender is set to eliminate a few hundred roles that include relationship managers in Hong Kong and Singapore, the majority within teams newly acquired from Credit Suisse, the people said.
The number of cuts has not been finalised, they said.
The lender plans to keep the majority of private bankers in Australia and India for now, one of the people said.
UBS is battling muted client sentiment and activity levels in Asia-Pacific, where the regional business hub of Hong Kong has long been a booking centre along with Singapore for China’s ultra-wealthy.
The wealth management unit’s profit before tax in the region fell by 9% in the second quarter from a year earlier.
The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 3% last year, one of its slowest rates of growth in decades as pandemic controls and a property crisis battered the country.
Its eventual reopening provided hope China would bounce back this year, but that recovery has lost ground and the benchmark stock index is on track for a third straight year of losses.
Since closing the takeover of Credit Suisse in June, UBS has outlined major targets for the integration of its former rival including 3,000 domestic job cuts and more than US$10 billion in cost savings.
That’s likely to be a fraction of the roles to disappear globally.
The reductions come as other banks such as Barclays Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also trim headcount.
Barclays plans to dismiss about 5% of client-facing staff in the trading division as well as some dealmakers globally as part of the cuts.