World

GENEVA The merger of Credit Suisse by UBS could see up to 36,000 jobs being cut globally, Swiss media reports said on Sunday.

Citing internal anonymous sources, the SonntagsZeitung weekly and Tages-Anzeiger daily said management was considering cutting between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the combined workforce, meaning between 25,000 and 36,000 jobs.

Before the enforced marriage, UBS and Credit Suisse had headcounts of about than 72,000 and 50,000 respectively.

Up to 11,000 jobs could be cut in Switzerland alone, according to the papers, which did not provide details of which posts could be targeted.

Jobs in its US investment banking arm would also be affected, one report said, with UBS set for talks to terminate a deal that would have given Wall Street dealmaker Michael Klein control of much of Credit Suisses investment bank.

The takeover by UBS of Credit Suisse was hastily arranged by the Swiss government on March 19 after a March 15 share price collapse, when investor confidence plunged following two bank failures in the United States.

Both Swiss lenders are among the select banks around the world considered to be global systemically important financial institutions, and therefore deemed too big to fail.

UBS announced on Wednesday that it would bring back former chief executive Sergio Ermotti to handle the huge risks involved in the Swiss banking giants controversial absorption of its troubled rival.

The deal has raised concerns over the size of a new bank with US$1.6 trillion (S$2.1 trillion) in assets and more than 120,000 employees worldwide.

There is a huge amount of risk in integrating these businesses, said UBS chairman Colm Kelleher last week.

Credit Suisse had been embroiled in a series of scandals in recent years. Among these were the bankruptcy of British financial company Greensill and the implosion of US hedge fund Archegos.

It was also caught up in a bribery scandal in Mozambique involving loans to state-owned companies and was fined US$2 million in a money laundering case linked to a Bulgarian cocaine network. REUTERS, AFP More On This Topic UBS brings back Ermotti as CEO to steer Credit Suisse takeover in surprise move A very Swiss identity crisis

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