Zurich: Strong equities and currency revenues drove UBS’s second-quarter net profit well above forecasts despite choppy market conditions and client money withdrawals fell to their lowest level since early 2008.
UBS improved investment banking performance, although partially helped by a gain on own credit, stood out against weak results at several US rivals in the face of sovereign debt concerns, suggesting chief executive Oswald Gruebel’s tough restructuring strategy is working.
But Gruebel said in a letter to shareholders concerns about the sustainability of the global economic recovery “could lead to more subdued client activity levels across our businesses”.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected Switzerland’s largest bank by market value to post second-quarter net profit of 1.34 billion Swiss francs ($1.28 billion).
Clients drained a total of about 5 billion francs, the lowest quarterly withdrawal UBS has experienced since it started to bleed assets at the start of 2008, but not sufficient for Gruebel to say he has turned the tide.
On Thursday, Credit Suisse posted second-quarter profit of 1.6 billion francs, helped by tax and accounting gains.