UBS: More former executives forgo pay, bonuses

UBS: More former executives forgo pay, bonuses

Lucerne: Former executives who oversaw massive losses at Swiss banking giant UBS AG will repay a further 22 million Swiss francs ($18.45 million), chairman Peter Kurer said Thursday, 27 November.

The repayments by the unidentified individuals bring to nearly 70 million francs ($59 million) the amount of money handed back to the bank by former executives over the past year.

“I am continuing to hold talks concerning further repayments and waivers, and would greatly welcome it if it comes to that," Kurer told a special shareholders meeting.

Kurer said he was treating the latest repayments as confidential.

Pressure has been growing on the former executives to give back bonuses and other payments since UBS received a nearly $60 billion state bailout package last month.

Former chief executive Peter Wuffli, who left the bank in July 2007, disclosed earlier this month that he had already forgone some payments he was due last year and that a further waiver this year brought to 12 million francs the sum he was renouncing.

Earlier this week three other people who were top executives when the bank made bad investments in the U.S. subprime mortgage market said they were forfeiting 33 million francs ($28 million) in salary and other payments.

Ex-chairman Marcel Ospel, who was in charge as the bank ran up more than $40 billion in writedowns and losses over the past year, said he was forfeiting more than 22 million francs.

Two other members of the governing troika, ex-Vice President Stephan Haeringer and former chief financial officer Marco Suter, said they too were taking part in renouncing the funds.

Last week UBS said it will stop making bonus payments to its chairman starting next year. Kurer, who has already said he will forgo any bonus for 2007 and 2008 until the bank has recovered, will receive a fixed salary starting in 2009, the bank said.

The bank will also introduce what it calls a “bonus-malus" system for its other 12 board members. No bonus will be awarded in years when UBS makes a loss, and the cash balance will be reduced by a “malus," the opposite of a bonus.

Board members’ bonuses will be held back for a certain period to discourage risky short-term investments, the bank said, adding that it would also apply the system to other senior managers in charge of high-risk parts of its business.

UBS shares rose 4.05% Thursday to 15.40 francs ($12.92) on the Zurich exchange.