[ZURICH] UBS's wealth management business in the Americas could trim up to 600 client adviser positions, a spokeswoman for the Swiss bank said on Thursday.
UBS Americas, headquartered in New York and New Jersey, will cut down on hiring new client advisers by 40 per cent and reduce the overall number to between 6,500 and 7,000 from around 7,145.
This is part of a broader restructure by Tom Naratil, who took over as Americas head at the start of 2016 after around five years as UBS's group chief financial officer.
UBS Americas' ranks have swelled by poaching bankers from Credit Suisse, its Swiss rival that had shuttered its US private banking business on grounds that it was too small to compete.
Under the plans, UBS Americas will also strip out a regional layer of its structure.
It is tweaking its compensation plan to reward bankers who manage more assets and promote team building, as well as to encourage advisers leaving the business to transfer their practice to another UBS adviser.
Part of the reasoning is to reduce volatility in hiring and retaining client advisers.
Many private banks are looking to boost profitability by cutting costs, a response to tough financial markets and record-low interest rates which have been a drag on revenues.
UBS's wealth management business outside the Americas, headed by Juerg Zeltner, aims to cut costs by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a memo seen by Reuters last month.