UBS to axe 200 more staff as merger bites

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Some 200 highly paid dealers and analysts at UBS's London offices will today become the latest casualties of the bank's decision to merge with the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC).

UBS is expected to tell employees in its equities division this morning whether they will be offered jobs in the new bank.

Only around half the staff in the 400-strong equities department are likely to be offered posts, and numerous City stars are among those facing the sack.

But the scale of the job cuts is not as large as had been feared, following intense lobbying of top management by Hector Sants of UBS, joint European head of equities at the new bank. It had been rumoured that practically the whole UBS equity department would be axed.

Only a handful of SBC employees are expected to lose their jobs, although the precise scale of job cuts is unlikely to be known until UBS staff signal whether they are willing to take the positions offered.

The handling of the redundancy programme has caused intense bitterness among UBS staff, who had initially been told the best from both banks would be chosen to work at Warburg Dillon Read, the new investment bank.

Those staff who have failed to secure jobs at the new bank will not be given their redundancy notices for the time being. Instead, they will go into a "resources pool", from where they could be offered jobs elsewhere in the bank.

UBS staff who are made redundant will receive a minimum of three months' pay, plus one month per year of service. Those over 40 will receive slightly better terms.

John Aitken, UBS's highly-rated banking analyst, is rumoured to be among those facing the axe today, as is Richard Hannah, the well-respected transport analyst.

SBC and UBS are expected to shed 3,000 City jobs over the coming months, with UBS bearing the brunt of the cuts. The job-cutting programme began last Wednesday, when only 100 of UBS's 150 corporate financiers were offered posts in the new bank. By contrast, jobs were found for almost the entire 300-strong SBC corporate finance department.