UBS Set for Job Cuts in IT Services

Switzerland's UBS will present its results for the first quarter next week – and possibly a set of restructuring measures. The aim to simplify the IT of the business could lead to hundreds of job cuts.

Is UBS about to announce a major round of job cuts? The banking giant wants to merge large parts of the back and middle offices in its wealth management business, the «Financial Times» (pay-wall) reported Thursday.

The Zurich-based bank aims to introduce a single IT system for all of its wealth management operations in a bid to simplify the support services. As a consequence, several hundred jobs could be lost, however the bank will be able to save hundreds of millions of Swiss francs. UBS didn't comment on the report.

A Federation of Systems

The IT systems used by the UBS Wealth Management unit are diverse. Employees say that the services at the unit is structured much like a federation – one IT system is at use for each of the wealth-management markets of UBS. The bank's wealth management business is operating in 50 countries.

The planned restructuring though is said to be part of a larger project, the newspaper also said.

Cooperation Works

The back and middle offices of wealth management and the Americas unit may be linked up. The introduction of chief investment offices used by the two units showed that such a cooperation is possible.

UBS is also working on a way to cut costs by removing a counter-productive cost competition between the units and the corporate center. UBS on Tuesday will report the figures for the first quarter. Analysts expect UBS to have been hurt by the turbulences on equity markets earlier this year.

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