UBS struggles to save strong brand

Stephen Beard Apr 15, 2009
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UBS struggles to save strong brand

Stephen Beard Apr 15, 2009
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Bill Radke: We’ve been telling you that the big American banks are reporting earnings this week. Some of them have been sounding optimistic. This morning, the Swiss banking giant UBS announced a loss for the first quarter and said it’s cutting 8,700 jobs, several thousand of them here in the U.S. From our European Desk, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Europe’s biggest casualty of the credit crunch unveils yet another tale of woe. UBS lost $1.75 billion in the first three months of the year. Major job cuts are inevitable, says the bank. A further 11 percent of its workforce will go.

UBS is now fighting on two fronts: trying to stem the continuing losses on toxic assets and battling with the U.S. over alleged tax evasion.

Chris Hughes is with the Web site Breaking Views. He says the bank is struggling to save what was once the world’s strongest financial brand:

Chris Hughes: At the moment, the actions are pretty radical and they do obviously stand a chance of preserving the franchise. But it’s clearly going to be a much smaller, and an incredibly shrunken franchise compared to what it was at its peak.

Many of the bank’s customers are taking fright. Amid the tax fraud allegations, clients have pulled around $8 billion out of UBS accounts.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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