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UBS gets nasty with its private bankers

After holding off on big private banking redundancies for much of the past two years, UBS is now turning its attention to trimming its private bankers rather than its investment bankers.

Announcing its first quarter results today, UBS said it will make another 4,000 job cuts in wealth management and Swiss banking, and another 2,500 job cuts in investment banking.

In March, UBS said it would make ‘just’ 2,500 cuts in its wealth management division this year.

The latest redundancies will leave headcount in UBS investment banking 38% below its peak, and headcount in wealth management and private banking 20% below its peak. However, as the charts below show, most of the cuts in UBS investment banking have already been made, while people working UBS wealth management and Swiss banking have a nasty nine months in store.

Headcount, UBS wealth management and Swiss banking

UBS wealth management and Swiss banking jobs

Headcount, UBS investment bank

UBS wealth management and Swiss banking jobs

Headhunters say UBS has already eliminated nearly 200 people from its London wealth management business (back office roles included) over the past few weeks.

The goodish news is that unlike many areas of investment banking, there is still a modicum of wealth management hiring happening. Vestra Wealth is stepping up its hiring spree, and Standard Chartered, Julius Baer, RBC and Morgan Stanley have all picked up disaffected UBS private bankers.

Comments (3)

  1. Is the era of UBS’s MacDonald’s approach to Wealth Management coming to an end? Lets hope so.

  2. Completly agree with Anom. To call UBS guys ‘private bankers’ is an insult to an already battered industry. They are mere product pushers (with few minor exceptions looking after UHNWI). However, the real suckers are the clients who subjected themselves to be ‘advised’ by the spineless bankers respresenting UBS. It was all working out when UBS was a strong brand, clients wanted to be there, no matter what performance, fees etc, but that all changed.

    Lateral thinking was not encouraged at UBS, it was all about milking the client, doing what was best for the bank not the client. I guess the chickens have come to roost…

  3. Standard Chartered is the place to be for Private bankers- they are stable and growing…they recently hired a couple of big hitters from Citi and have recruited from Barclays and Coutts as well. I think Standard Chartered is the one to watch out in the private bank arena…I have just sent them my CV!

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