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28 February 2024

UBS may report record loss

UBS has been affected by the global financial crisis. (FILE)


Switzerland's biggest bank is to announce the biggest loss in the country's history, running into billions of dollars. UBS would record an overall loss in 2008 of 20 billion Swiss francs ($18bn), in spite of showing a profit of 296 million francs in the third quarter, when it reports results on February 10.

The German language Sonntag said that the bank had racked up eight billion francs (Dh26bn) in losses in the final quarter of 2008, bringing the total for the year to $20bn.

UBS admitted in the autumn when it announced third quarter results that the financial crisis had hit it hard and warned it could lose up to five billion francs in the final quarter.

UBS was heavily exposed to risky US subprime mortgage business and had to write down almost $47bn in share values. In recent months clients have taken fright and withdrawn a total of 83.6 billion francs.

The Swiss Government intervened in October with a rescue plan of $60bn.

The bank has been hit by the fraudulent scheme of US fraudster Bernard Madoff and the failure of the US subsidiary of the Dutch group LyondellBasell and its share value has lost two thirds over the year.