UBS beats forecast, increases bonus pool after strong year


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The Independent Online

Swiss banking giant UBS has raised its bonus pool by 28 per cent for last year after its back-to-basics policy saw a sharp recovery with pre-tax profits up 44% to Swfr4.1 billion (£2.8 billion).

The news came as more and more top UK bankers give up their annual bonus in the wake of poor results or big fines.

Last night Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins waived his entitlement to a bonus for last year which could have been up to £2.5 million. He will still, however, collect an earlier deferred £4 million share bonus next month.

UBS, which has thousands of employees in the City, said its 60,000 staff would share in a bonus pool of Swfr3.5 billion after it reported profits up in all its divisions.

Chief executive Sergio Ermotti said: “A year ago, we said we would further adapt our business to better serve clients, reduce risk, deliver more sustainable performance and enhance shareholder returns. I am pleased to report that in 2013 we accomplished all those goals.

“We finished the year ahead of the majority of our performance targets and will continue to execute our strategy in a disciplined manner in order to ensure the firm’s long-term success.”

UBS, which received the biggest taxpayer bail-out of any European bank, has prospered from Ermotti’s strategy to shrink the investment bank and withdraw from less profitable areas including bond trading.

The bank raised its full-year dividend to Swfr0.25 per share and reiterated its promise to raise the dividend to 50 per cent of earnings per share once its core Tier 1 ratio hits 13 per cent. Last year it rose from 9.8 per cent to 12.8 per cent.

UBS’s profits came after Swfr1.7 billion of provisions for fines and litigation costs.