UBS lays off S’pore team serving rich Turks

March 23, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Reuters

UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, has axed a team of six private bankers in Singapore, who were managing wealth for Turkish clients, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

UBS is struggling after losing billions in the risky U.S. housing market, which forced it to obtain financial aid from the Swiss government.

The Singapore team was managing clients’ assets worth between $200 million to $300 million and was hired from Swiss rival Credit Suisse two years ago, a source briefed on the situation said.

Singapore acts as an offshore booking center for UBS’ clients from Asia and Europe.

A second source said the firm has no plans to exit wealth management for Turkish clients despite the removal of the team in Singapore, which was done as part of a group restructuring.

“Like any organization, UBS continually reviews its strategic needs and resources the businesses according to the environment and its outlook,” a UBS spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Asia Pacific remains a strategic priority for UBS, and a region in which the group will continue to invest,” she said. UBS declined comment on the layoffs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE52M1LX20090323