UBS AG (UBSN) is eliminating about 30 fixed-income jobs in Japan, two people with knowledge of the matter said, as Switzerland’s biggest lender implements plans to shrink investment banking operations worldwide.
The UBS employees in Tokyo, including fixed-income traders and sales staff, were told to leave yesterday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The Zurich-based bank may trim more positions in Japan, the people said.
Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said yesterday that the company plans to cut 10,000 jobs to scale back its investment bank and focus on wealth management. The lender is also putting about 100 traders at the fixed-income unit in London on leave, a person briefed on the plan said yesterday.
“We are reshaping our investment bank for the needs and realities of today’s market,” said Jason Kendy, a spokesman for UBS in Tokyo, declining to comment on specific actions in Japan. “Today marks the start of a stronger, more focused business able to build on its relationships with wealthy individual, corporate, sovereign, and institutional clients.”
UBS had 768 employees in Japan as of March 31, down from 868 a year earlier, according to a filing to the Financial Services Agency. The brokerage posted net income of 2.8 billion yen ($35 million) for the year ended March 31, compared with a loss of 2.1 billion yen a year earlier. Profit from bond trading fell 19 percent to 8.5 billion yen.
Ermotti is overhauling the bank as Swiss capital rules, among the strictest in the world, make it difficult for UBS to compete in activities such as fixed-income trading. The bank announced an unexpected pretax loss of 2.87 billion Swiss francs ($3.1 billion) at its investment banking arm yesterday.
The 10 biggest investment banks shared $22 billion of fixed income, currency and commodities sales and trading revenue in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) ranked first, while UBS came in second to last, the data show.
UBS will keep its advisory business, as well as equities, foreign exchange and precious metals, and will maintain facilitation capabilities in rates and credit, it said yesterday.
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