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UBS profits slump by 64% as wealth management business performance declines

Published 03/05/2016

Pre-tax operating profit at UBS's wealth management arm fell 41% to 557 million Swiss francs (£398m)
Pre-tax operating profit at UBS's wealth management arm fell 41% to 557 million Swiss francs (£398m)

Profits at Swiss banking giant UBS have fallen 64% after a sharp decline in performance at its wealth management business.

UBS said net profit for the first quarter fell to 707 million Swiss francs (£506 million), down from 1.98 billion Swiss francs (£1.4 billion) in the same period last year.

Pre-tax operating profit at the wealth management arm fell 41% to 557 million Swiss francs (£398 million), with the lender recording "the lowest transaction volumes recorded for a first quarter".

UBS pointed to "heightened economic and geopolitical uncertainty" and global market volatility as being behind the slump, which also saw operating income fall to 6.83 billion Swiss francs (£4.8 billion), from 8.84 billion Swiss francs (£6.3 billion).

The lender said: "For the industry, this translated into abnormally low transaction volumes for a first quarter.

"The underlying macroeconomic challenges and geopolitical risks highlighted previously continue to contribute to client risk aversion and are unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future.

"Low interest rates and the relative strength of the Swiss franc, particularly against the euro, continue to present headwinds."

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