ubs-posts-17-billion-loss-and-restructures

UBS posts $17 billion loss and restructures

Investment banking drives losses at UBS, while wealth and asset management report large net new money outflows. Cash bonuses to investment bankers are reduced by 95%.

UBS yesterday posted a net loss of SFr19.7 billion $16.8 billion for 2008, up 375% from the 2007 loss of SFr5.2 billion, with the fourth-quarter shortfall alone coming to SFr8.1 billion.

Losses were mainly due to negative revenues in the fixed income, currencies and commodities areas of the investment bank, said the Swiss bank in a written statement. During 2008, UBS managed to reduce operating expenses for the overall firm by 22%, primarily because its salary bill fell 36% to SFr16.2 billion on account of lower payouts in the investment bank.

The pre-tax loss in the investment banking division doubled to SFr33.7 billion last year from SFr16.7 in 2007, despite a reduction in personnel expenses...

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