UBS back in the black in first quarter

The Swiss bank UBS has surprised investors with a higher than expected rise in profits as a retructuring that will see 10,000 jobs go began to take effect.

"It's too early to declare victory, but it's good to see we're gaining momentum," the chief executive, Sergio Ermotti said. "We have shown our business model works in practice. Although markets improved, we still saw challenges, so I'm very pleased with our performance."

The bank swung from losses of Sfr1.84bn (£1.26bn) a year ago to profits of Sfr1.45bn in the first three months of the year.

The turnaround was driven by stronger than expected profits from wealth management and a 92 per cent rise in profits at the investment bank. The securities business also benefited in foreign exchange trading as currencies were more volatile this year.

Fees from trading and transactions at the private bank rose on a "significant uptick" of client activity in the first six weeks of 2013, particularly in Asia, UBS said.