UBS Shocks With Record $17B Loss

Swiss banking giant posts worst loss in nation's history
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2009 6:38 AM CST
Some 3,500 people demonstrate for stricter rules concerning the financial rescue plan for Swiss Bank UBS during a rally in Zurich, Switzerland, on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Steffen Schmidt, Keystone)
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(Newser) – UBS today announced an annual loss of $17 billion—the biggest ever by a Swiss company—despite a government bailout and a surprise tax benefit in the fourth quarter. The loss was higher than expected, but the once-mighty corporation reiterated that it would not sell off its investment banking arm, the company's most troubled sector. UBS has faced intense political pressure in Switzerland and has said it will slash bonus payouts by 85%.