UBS is cutting about 40 jobs in the major centres of Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo to trim costs after combining its global markets and banking businesses.
Sources told Reuters and Bloomberg that the job cuts at the Swiss bank started last week and were centred on both "front and back office" positions in the trading and investment banking divisions of the global bank.
The bigger cuts would come from UBS's markets and investment-banking teams with a majority at the level of vice president or below. The Asian divisions will see smaller cuts than those planned in Europe because the lender sees the region as a growth driver, the people said.
Most of the front line investment banking changes were limited to junior staff.
This comes days after the announcement that Ms Choo Oi Yee, managing director and head of Singapore corporate client solutions, will leave to join Singapore digital securities start-up iSTOX next January. Last month, Edmund Koh, president of UBS Asia-Pacific, told The Business Times that the wealth manager is actively reviewing certain sectors or geographies in which it has exposure in this region.
As part of its global restructuring, Ros L'Esperance and Javier Oficialdegui are being given charge of the newly-named global banking division, which will house public capital markets, private financing and mergers, and acquisitions. A combined global markets operation including equities and foreign exchange, rates and credit will be run by Jason Barron and George Athanasopoulos.
Greg Peirceis taking over as global head of mergers and acquisitions, the first time that role will be based in Hong Kong, the newswires reported.
UBS has 10,000 people employed in Asia. A bank spokesman declined to comment on the most recent round of job cuts.