UBS is planning to cut roughly 30% of its 120,000-person workforce, or about 35,000 employees, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the bank’s thinking.
That could encompass more than half of the 45,000 Credit Suisse employees UBS absorbed in its takeover of its Swiss rival, according to the wire service.
Employees have been told to expect three rounds of cuts this year: one by the end of July and two more tentatively set for September and October, sources told Bloomberg.
Credit Suisse's investment bank, back office and Swiss retail bank will take on much of the right-sizing, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. At least 7,000 jobs could be shed in Zurich alone, the person added.
That would likely indicate UBS is leaning toward integrating Credit Suisse’s Swiss unit with its own rather than spinning it off. UBS has said it would make a definitive decision on that move by this year’s third quarter.
Merging the two banks’ Swiss units would eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs, a source told Bloomberg. But because of the timing of the ultimate decision, those cuts will likely come in the September or October rounds.
A spokesperson for UBS declined to comment to Bloomberg or Reuters. Credit Suisse did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
UBS has said it aims to save roughly $6 billion in staff costs in the coming years.
For perspective, UBS’s 35,000-employee cull over the next four months would equal the downsizing HSBC planned to undertake in a three-year span. And it would nearly double the cuts Deutsche Bank had planned over three years.
Before the Swiss government forced the UBS deal, Credit Suisse in October announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs over three years. About 2,700 of those were set for last year’s fourth quarter.
Indeed, about 10% of Credit Suisse employees left the bank in the months leading up to this month’s UBS takeover, CEO Sergio Ermotti said.
At a conference Tuesday in Zurich, Ermotti said UBS would clarify the responsibilities of 1,200 to 1,500 employees over the coming three weeks, according to Bloomberg.
“We have re-established the first two lines of responsibility,” Ermotti said. “In the next couple of months, there will be even more clarity.”
UBS had originally planned to keep the top 20% of dealmakers — with a particular focus on retaining technology, media and telecoms-related positions, but many of the top-performing bankers have left the bank or been hired by competitors, sources told Bloomberg.
UBS had also hoped to keep most of Credit Suisse’s private bankers, but many of them have also left, two sources told the wire service.
Switzerland-based corporate bankers and relationship managers overseeing large client accounts are seen as less likely to be affected by cuts, a source told Reuters.
Likewise, UBS will want to keep bankers responsible for managing Credit Suisse’s structured loans to wealthy clients and its equity derivatives operations, a source told Bloomberg.
JPMorgan analysts estimate UBS may see a $150 billion slump in its wealth-management client assets after absorbing Credit Suisse, Bloomberg reported last week.