The Swiss bank UBS cut its profit forecast for the coming years after a difficult 2019. The bank missed its targets in terms of profitability and cost discipline last year. Investors then made the share of the largest Swiss bank in the sale.

UBS in particular performed less well with its asset management division, where Iqbal Khan was recently appointed top man. Many clients withdrew their capital from the investment accounts in the final quarter of 2019. This mainly concerned wealthy South and North Americans. The sale of lucrative financial services was also difficult.

The asset management branch is a problem child of UBS. Earlier this year, the bank came up with plans for a turnaround for that division. Hundreds of jobs are lost. The branch is struggling with the emergence of ready-made investment products from competitors, which are usually cheaper than the customized investment offer from UBS.

Khan is the man who has to put the asset management at UBS back on the map. He switched from the arch-rival Credit Suisse last quarter. That switch resulted in a scandal after Credit Suisse hired private detectives to shadow Khan. Credit Suisse feared that Khan would lure bankers away to UBS. The espionage assignment was to come from operational director Pierre-Olivier Bouée. He resigned earlier because of the issue. He would have acted alone.

By 2022, UBS is now counting on a return of between 12 and 15 percent. The ratio of costs and income must be between 75 percent and 78 percent. Under the line last year, 4.3 billion dollars were left against a profit of 4.5 billion dollars a year earlier.

UBS also announced that it was disposing of its majority interest in the UBS Fondcenter fund platform. Koper is financial service provider Clearstream.

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