UBS report details bank's failings

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has explained to shareholders how a breakdown in its risk management procedures resulted in $37 billion (SFr37.6 billion) losses.

This content was published on April 21, 2008

The bank admitted in a report on Monday how a culture of maximising revenues, over-reliance on credit ratings and an imbalanced compensation system contributed to the subprime write-downs.

The 50-page report, summarising its initial findings to the Swiss Banking Commission, was made available to shareholders two days before the bank's annual general meeting.

It details a "lack of comprehensive subprime risk assessment", a failure to respond early enough to industry-wide concerns about such investments and an over-emphasis on delivering growth.

The report also criticises its own compensation system that awarded bonuses for achieving gross revenue "with no formal account taken of the quality or sustainability of those earnings".

The debacle led to the sacking of several leading executives followed by the resignation of chairman Marcel Ospel at the beginning of April. Shareholders meet on Wednesday to vote on a SFr15 billion rights issue and the nomination of Peter Kurer to succeed Ospel.

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