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UBS to slash up to 36,000 jobs after Credit Suisse merger

April 2, 2023

The bank is looking to trim down after the bloating caused by the merger of the two Swiss banking rivals. More than 10,000 jobs are on the chopping block in Switzerland alone.

The logos of UBS and Credit Suisse on buildings in Zurich
The UBS buyout of Credit Suisse left the bank with tens of thousands of new employeesImage: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The Swiss banking giant UBS is looking at letting go up to 30% of its staff after its buyout of rival Credit Suisse, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Sunday.

UBS agreed to the 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion, €3.02 billion) buyout after the Swiss government organized a deal to rescue Credit Suisse — one of the global banks considered too big to fail.

But the bank that has emerged from the deal holds $1.6 trillion in assets and employs more than 120,000 people worldwide.

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk

Prior to the merger, the number of employees at UBS and Credit Suisse was around 72,000 and 50,000, respectively.

The job cuts report was not specific about which positions would be targeted but said that as many as 11,000 staff could be laid off in Switzerland alone.

When is a bank systemically important?

The report also said that jobs in the United States could be at risk. UBS is currently in talks to end a deal that would have handed over control of much of Credit Suisse's investment bank to Wall Street dealmaker Michael Klein.

UBS also said on Wednesday that it was bringing back its former chief executive Sergio Ermotti to help deal with the new risks.

"There's a huge amount of risk in integrating these businesses," UBS chairman Colm Kelleher said earlier this week.

Too big to fail

The buyout of Credit Suisse triggered panic in financial markets, although this calmed after an initial disturbance.

The troubled Swiss bank had been hit by the fallout of two collapsed banks in the US and the Swiss government rushed to prevent Credit Suisse's own collapse, fearing the even greater repercussions this could have.

But Credit Suisse had already been standing on shaky ground, having been caught in a series of scandals in previous years, including its involvement with the British financial company Greensill which ended in bankruptcy and with the implosion of the US hedge fund Archegos.

ab/sms (AFP, Reuters)