Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday posted a heavy third quarter loss and announced plans to cut around 9,000 jobs worldwide as part of a massive restructuring of its chronically troubled investment bank.
"This decision has been a difficult one, particularly in a business such as ours that is all about its people," UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti said in a statement, referring to the planned job cuts.
"Some reductions will result from natural attrition and we will take whatever measures we can to mitigate the overall effect," he said, vowing that "our people will be supported and treated with care."
The Zurich-based bank said the deep cuts in its overall headcount to around 54,000 people by 2015 was a necessary part of a far-reaching restructuring of its investment bank, including shedding some of its high-risk activities.
UBS, which counted some 63,500 employees at the end of June, said the restructuring would save 5.4 billion Swiss francs (4.5 billion euros, $5.8 billion) over the next three years.
But the massive restructuring hit the Swiss bank's third quarter hard and was largely responsible for the 2.2-billion Swiss franc net loss it posted, compared to the 1.0 billion net profit it raked in during the July-September period last year.
UBS said in its earning statement it had taken a one-time charge of 3.1 billion Swiss francs linked to the restructuring and a debt-related charge of 863 million.
Speaking of his company's earnings, Ermotti meanwhile stressed that all the bank's activities had "delivered improved profitability in the third quarter," and that it was rolling out its strategy "well ahead of schedule."
The bank expected to have to dish out another some 500 million Swiss francs in restructuring charges in the fourth quarter, but also expected to raise fresh capital during the last quarter of the year despite a difficult economic environment.