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Blood on the floor at Swiss banks

UBS and Credit Suisse are both preparing to extract staff. The red stuff is likely to flow far more freely at UBS.

New UBS chief exec Marcel Rohner told shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting today that details of the new cuts will be provided next month, but they’ll be in addition to the 1,500 already announced.

Credit Suisse revealed yesterday that it plans to eliminate another 500 investment banking jobs, and is expected to unveil its first quarterly loss in half a decade when it announces its results tomorrow.

UBS bankers are in the biggest pickle. The bank has made $37.4bn of writedowns so far, almost entirely related to an untimely rush into CDOs and other structured credit products, and is now planning to shear its investment banking arm to a fraction of its size and put an end to cross-subsidisation from the private bank.

Credit Suisse is merely cutting a few hundred jobs across M&A, fixed income, equities trading, and the back office.

Bankers with a Swiss bent may conclude Credit Suisse is the better bet.

“The pull-back in staff and capital at UBS’ investment bank is going to make it very difficult for it to compete in future,” says David Williams, head of European banks research at Fox-Pitt Kelton. “Of the two, Credit Suisse looks like it’s more committed – its problems are tiny compared to those at UBS,” he adds.

Comments (8)

  1. Whoever is advising the UBS Board really should get fired. Great job!

  2. Won’t be the right blood on the floor at UBS. It never is…

    Which is why they find themselves where they find themselves.

  3. Hi Jane, I wish you the very best of luck with your book. I am looking forward to a great read!

    Undisclosed, ex UBS Reply
  4. Thank you, Undisclosed, much appreciated. It strikes me that it’s high time the real story, of how badly the banking spectrum can behave when it’s shedding good people, needs to be told. I dislike the notion that the banks can pay you peanuts, gag you, and carry on behaving badly because they’ve effectively silenced any voice of protest. I think it’s bad manners and bad business for managers to hide behind the legal department when they’ve behaved atrociously…

  5. Havent you all learned that HR have a lot to answer for too. The job cuts are never in hr but if ever there was a dept full of undertrained, undereducated rude political overpaid nitwits id like to see it. At the least the worst bankers/analysts generate revenue. UBS has more deadwood in Management, HR, compliance, legal and in switzerland than you could ever imagine but its likely to be productive Asian, UK or US bankers or analysts that feel the pinch. Glad Im out of there.
    Trading capital for a living now and no crappy politics.

    ex Equity Analyst- ex UBS Reply
  6. There won’t be job cuts in HR… the poor darlings are totally overworked processing thousands of exits, don’t you know. Strive for a little sympathy? Having to deal with all those disgruntled high-performing human beings who are turfed out of their jobs because some geeky gofers got their numbers wrong on sub-prime and complex credit instruments, with the enthusiastic support of what passes for ‘management’.

  7. It’s funny because it’s true! :-)

  8. HR = Hopeless Retards.

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