UBS back office staff fear cuts as bank slashes 8,700 jobs

UBS IT staff face a uncertain future after the Swiss bank announced it will shed 8,700 jobs across all activities by next year.

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UBS IT staff face a uncertain future after the Swiss bank announced it will shed 8,700 jobs across all activities by next year.

The bank, which has been badly hit by the credit crisis, warned of a 2 billion Swiss francs (£1.2 billion) loss in the first quarter to 31 March.

It is understood that IT and back office operations will be among those affected, but the bank declined to give a breakdown. Most of the cuts are expected to be made in the company’s Swiss headquarters, as well as in the US.

A UBS spokesperson would not say how many jobs will be cut in the UK, where the bank employs 7,000 people.

"UBS seeks to realise substantial cost savings in all areas,” the bank said in a statement after releasing the results. “Major job cuts are unfortunately unavoidable. UBS expects to reduce the number of its employees [from 76,200] to about 67,500 in 2010."

The bank aims to save 4 billion Swiss francs partly through the job cuts, and said it was also exiting “high-risk and unpromising” activities. Last May, it cut 5,500 jobs, affecting investment banking, wealth management, asset management and corporate banking. and has also expanded back its office operations in India in a bid to cut costs.

Oswald Grübel, chief executive at UBS, said the company faced “a long road back to success without any quick fixes”.

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