UBS on Saturday said final decisions in an ongoing business review have not yet been taken, after a newspaper reported the Swiss bank is set to axe around 2,000 jobs in information technology to cut costs.
"I am ... determined to take all actions necessary to tackle the current challenging market environment and paradigm shift in our industry," UBS Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said in a memorandum to staff following a report by Tages-Anzeiger earlier in the day.
The Swiss daily reported the 2,000 IT job losses would come alongside an undisclosed number of further job cuts within UBS's business units, citing sources close to the bank.
UBS's main business arms are a flagship private bank for the wealthy and an investment bank.
"We have not yet concluded the final review of all our businesses, nor have we made any final decisions. We are doing this carefully and responsibly," Ermotti said.
"Once relevant decisions have been taken and we are ready to take the next step, we will communicate with you and the public," he said, appealing to employees not to leak confidential information to media outlets.
According to Tages-Anzeiger, IT staffers fear that UBS could ultimately shed as many as 20 percent of overall jobs, which would translate to cuts of more than 12,000 people in total.
Ermotti is struggling to unite his 12-person top management board behind cuts he says are necessary to improve profitability and hit targets, Reuters reported this week.
Although his managers agree on the need for cuts, infighting has emerged over details such as how to centralise work, which would crimp the division heads' responsibility.
UBS has already pledged to cut 3,500 jobs as part of earlier cost cuts, but this is seen as too little by most analysts given a dramatic slowdown in investment banking business and tighter capital rules governing riskier business.
Some analysts expect UBS to disclose further restructuring steps as soon as its third-quarter earnings are released on October30.
(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Keiron Henderson)