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UBS to cut investment banking jobs in cost-savings plan: sources

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UBS Group AG is cutting jobs at the investment bank as part of a plan to reduce costs across the business in response to a revenue slump, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

[ZURICH] UBS Group AG is cutting jobs at the investment bank as part of a plan to reduce costs across the business in response to a revenue slump, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

At least a dozen London-based employees in the securities unit lost their jobs this week, said the people, declining to be identified because the matter remains private. Positions were eliminated in equities, debt capital markets, leveraged finance and real estate, they said.

The Swiss bank signaled it was taking further measures to increase savings when it reported a decline in first-quarter profit earlier this month, citing a challenging revenue environment. The investment bank, led by Andrea Orcel, posted the largest drop among global firms in sales from advising on mergers and underwriting stock and bond deals.

"We have defined specific front-to-back initiatives that we will now implement to achieve our net 2.1 billion franc (S$2.96 billion) savings target," Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti told analysts earlier this month.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

UBS earlier this month said first-quarter profit fell by 64 per cent, partly hurt by the weakest start to the year in investment banking since Ermotti began to reshape the unit four years ago.

Global investment banks' second-quarter revenue is on course to decline 24 per cent, with the underwriting and equities businesses facing the biggest drops, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. Advisory and trading revenue at UBS will probably drop more, or 28 per cent, the analysts wrote.

BLOOMBERG