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Swiss bank UBS axes 500 IT jobs in outsourcing drive to cut costs

Jenny Williams

Swiss bank UBS plans to cut 500 technical jobs worldwide as part of an internal IT department re-organisation and outsourcing initiative.

UBS plans to streamline its IT department as well as outsourcing its in-house technical IT user support services in Switzerland to IT services firm Cognizant to help cut costs.

A spokesman for the Swiss bank confirmed 500 jobs would be cut worldwide as part of a cost-management exercise. A total of 200 technical jobs will be axed in Switzerland with another 300 jobs to be cut in other worldwide locations.

UBS were unable to confirm if any UK-based IT jobs would be affected.

UBS said: "Over the past few months, UBS has reviewed its entire global IT organisation with the aim of creating leaner structures, increasing efficiency and agility and cutting costs."

"Cost management and increased efficiency are top priorities for the entire UBS firm. For this reason UBS regularly reviews internal processes in order to improve efficiency and optimise costs; this includes outsourcing and offshoring options," UBS added.

UBS said about 90 roles of job reductions in Switzerland are related to the transfer of technical support services to Cognizant. The job cuts account for 5.5% of the Swiss bank's 8,700-strong IT workforce worldwide.

Other financial institutions have been forced to slash IT jobs in recent months as part of cost cutting efforts.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced a thousand IT jobs cuts at the end of 2010. Lloyds Banking Group announced thousands of in-house job cuts in 2011, outsourcing UK roles and prompting union Unite to attack its strategy as "death by a thousand cuts".


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