UBS Plans Fresh Cuts Amid Credit Suisse Integration: Report

(BANKINGDIVE) - UBS is gearing up for another wave of job cuts as the Swiss banking giant continues to streamline its workforce after acquiring Credit Suisse, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The upcoming job cuts are expected to impact more than a hundred positions across the firm’s global investment banking division, people familiar with the matter told the publication, asking for anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the information. This reduction in force, which goes beyond routine, performance-based terminations, is slated for the coming weeks.

Additionally, job losses are anticipated in the wealth management and markets units, another source told the wire service. However, decisions related to these cuts are not final and can change, Bloomberg reported.

A UBS spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg.

The emergency takeover of Credit Suisse last March substantially increased UBS’s global workforce by around 45,000, bringing its total headcount to approximately 120,000 employees. Last June, the lender announced it planned to cut roughly 30% of its workforce, or around 35,000 employees, by October, which could include more than half its former rival’s headcount. Employees were told to watch for three rounds of layoffs last year. Credit Suisse’s investment bank, back office and retail bank were to face the most reductions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

In January, UBS axed a group of senior investment bankers and let go of staff across its private wealth and investment banking units in Asia, according to Bloomberg.

The Zurich-based bank has said it aims to save approximately $6 billion in staff costs in the coming years. UBS decided to absorb Credit Suisse’s Swiss unit into its own rather than spinning it off and embarked on a complex integration and restructuring process.

UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher cautioned in November that the bank is bracing for a challenging 2024 as it navigates the complexities of the post-merger integration process. He said the bank has already made significant progress in the “easy part” of reducing headcount as part of the integration efforts.

According to a Financial Times report, 20 of the world’s largest banks cut at least 61,905 jobs in total last year. Among the banks measured, UBS made the deepest cuts with 13,000, while Credit Suisse had already said it expected to shed 9,000 jobs in a wide-scale restructuring.

The series of job cuts add to a tough year for the banking sector. Citi announced last week that its employee reduction tied to its reorganization has reached 7,000 — up from 5,000 as the firm had earlier expected. Citi’s massive overhaul came to an end in March, CEO Jane Fraser said during a first-quarter earnings call. She said it had left the bank “nimbler” and with “frankly, much less bureaucracy and needless complexity.” 

Earlier this month, the Swiss government proposed tougher capital requirements for UBS and three other systemically important banks, to prevent another banking crisis similar to the collapse of Credit Suisse. The new proposal could translate to a capital hit between $15 billion and $25 billion, according to analysts and media estimates, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

This story was originally published on Banking Dive. To receive daily news and insights, subscribe to our free daily Banking Dive newsletter.

By Rajashree Chakravarty


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