Financial Regulatory Forum

Swiss regulator cuts UBS bonus pool – report

January 18, 2010

   GENEVA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Swiss regulators have cut the proposed bonus pool at UBS <UBSN.VX>, which needed a state rescue in 2008, by about one quarter, Swiss weekly Sonntags-Zeitung said on Sunday.
   The paper said UBS wanted to pay bonuses on 2009 of about 4 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion) but instead financial regulator FINMA will allow it to pay around 3 billion francs.
    A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment on the proposed size of bonuses, but confirmed the bank had been in talks with the regulator on a range of topics.
   “No decisions have been made regarding variable compensation. We are in discussions with FINMA on a range of subjects including variable compensation,” she said.
   A spokesman for FINMA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
   UBS is due to announce fourth-quarter results on Feb. 9, and bonuses will be included under staff costs.
   Many analysts say UBS will show a profit in the fourth quarter for the first time in over a year, although it will make a loss for the year as a whole. [ID:nLDE60A1U2]
   UBS paid bonuses of about 2 billion francs last year for 2008.
   Although the Swiss state last year sold its stake in the bank, which gave it the right to influence compensation policy, FINMA retains the ability to influence bonuses.
   As with other banks, one of FINMA’s duties is to protect the interests of customers by ensuring the bank has enough capital. It will therefore monitor payouts such as dividends and bonuses. (Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Erica Billingham) ((jonathan.lynn@reuters.com; +41 22 733 3831; Reuters Messaging: jonathan.lynn.reuters.com@reuters.net )) ($1=1.023 Swiss Franc)
 Keywords: SWISS/UBS
  
Sunday, 17 January 2010 15:33:57RTRS [nLDE60G08L] {C}ENDS

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