Select a page

Banking News

Gruebel resigns from UBS

Gruebel resigns from UBS

(26 September 2011 – Switzerland) Swiss bank UBS AG chief executive Oswald Gruebel has resigned his post after the US$2.3 billion (A$2.3 billion) loss from unauthorised trading. "That it was possible for one of our traders in London to inflict a multi-billion loss on our bank through unauthorised trading shocked me," Gruebel said in a memo to staff.

"This incident has worldwide repercussions, including political ones. I did not take the step of resigning lightly. I am convinced that it is in the best interests of UBS to approach the future with a new leader at the top."

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Sergio P. Ermotti, the bank’s CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, UBS said in a statement today. Gruebel, 67, handed in his resignation as the Zurich-based bank’s board of directors met in Singapore.

Gruebel, who joined UBS after about 37 years at rival Credit Suisse Group AG, is the only person to have served as CEO of both of the biggest Swiss banks.

Brought out of retirement to rebuild UBS after record losses, he returned the bank to profit about six months after arriving, resolved a dispute with the US over banking secrecy that threatened the firm’s existence and stemmed nine straight quarters of client defections at the private bank. He also led an expansion of the investment bank.

Carsten Kengeter, the head of UBS’s investment bank, did an "excellent job" in covering positions after the crisis and there is no doubt about his future, Villiger said.

UBS plans to shrink the division following the loss. Gruebel and Kengeter, 44, tried for the last two years to rebuild the unit into a top-tier investment bank, hiring more than 1,700 people and bringing in new business heads to replace those that left or were fired.

They also increased risk-taking. Still, market turmoil and rising capital requirements had led them to begin reversing the buildup even before the trading loss. About 45 percent of 3,500 job cuts announced last month were slated for the investment bank.
East & Partners's avatar

Comment on this article


Your comments will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Subscribe to our mailing list

Sign up now to keep up-to-date with the latest
market news and insights in B2B banking.

* indicates required

For more information please read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statements.