UBS to Lay Off 8,000, Add $11.4B to Writedowns

Swiss bank likely to announce cutbacks with earnings
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted May 5, 2008 6:25 AM CDT
The headquarters of the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in Zurich, Switzerland, is seen in this 1999 file photo.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martin Ruetschi)
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(Newser) – Swiss banking giant UBS will lay off some 10% of its 83,000 workforce and scale back its investment banking arm in an attempt to reassure shareholders that it's taking actions to curtail losses associated with the subprime debacle, reports Bloomberg. Switzerland's largest bank says it will detail a further $11.4 billion in first-quarter writedowns in its earnings report tomorrow—bringing the total to $38 billion over the past three quarters.

"They've got to do something to win back the trust of shareholders," said one analyst. "I wouldn't be surprised if it's more"  than 8,000 layoffs. UBS has written off more than any other European bank and is second only to Citigroup, which has written down $41 billion.