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06 December 2023

UBS chairman faces pressure to quit

Peter Kurer (SUPPLIED)

By Reuters

Pressure mounted yesterday on the chairman of UBS to step down after the Swiss bank was engulfed in a storm of criticism over its handling of a US probe into tax fraud.

The Sonntag newspaper said it had surveyed the 246 members of the upper and lower houses of parliament and 23 said they wanted Peter Kurer to go, while 16 of them also thought Chief Executive Marcel Rohner should step down.

"I am disappointed by the whole UBS leadership. Communication is lacking. The top management no longer feels what moves the people. Peter Kurer should take the consequences," Thomas Hurter from the Swiss People's Party, told the paper.

Philipp Mueller, a parliamentarian from the pro-business Free Democrats, said Philipp Hildebrand, Vice-President of the Swiss National Bank who masterminded a rescue package for UBS in October, would be the perfect replacement. "Hildebrand is a trustworthy figure. He is highly competent and has precise and razor-sharp analysis," he said.

A UBS spokesman rejected reports that suggested that Kurer and Rohner had been aware of illegal offshore structures.