Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG is preparing to lay off as many as 36,000 people in the wake of its planned takeover of rival Credit Suisse — significantly more than first planned. Citing insiders at the bank, the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday that UBS
plans to cut 20% to 30% of its workforce. That would be between 25,000 and 36,000 of UBS’s 120,000 full-time positions following the combination of the two banks. The newspaper said up to 11,000 layoffs would be in Switzerland.
A spokesman for UBS declined to comment on the report. UBS shares
fell 1% in Zurich, and Credit Suisse
stock also slipped. UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse in March for roughly $3.25 billion, after a wave of withdrawals threatened Credit Suisse’s stability following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the U.S. Separately, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office has opened an investigation into Credit Suisse’s takeover by UBS. It didn’t specifically identify any issue it will be investigating. The body added that it wants to “obtain an overall overview of the numerous aspects of the events relating to Credit Suisse,” notably those mentioned in the media, and “identify any criminal offenses” that could fall within the jurisdiction of the Swiss public prosecutor. Some U.S. investors have launched legal action against Credit Suisse, claiming the bank, which has been embroiled in scandals in recent years, misled them over its prospects ahead of the share collapse. The Swiss regulators’ decision to write down Credit Suisse’s Additional Tier 1 (AT1 or contingent convertible CoCo bonds) as part of UBS’s planned takeover, has also infuriated bondholders. UBS will hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday. Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report