UBS posts US$2.3b loss for Q4

UBS posts US$2.3b loss for Q4”

UBS also announced that it would write off around CHF2.9bn as a outcome of the recent USA tax reform legislation, joining other non-US banks that have also been hit hard in their fourth-quarter results by Trump's so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Reuters poll has expected the figure to be 1.257 billion Swiss francs, lower the 2016 figure of 3.3 billion Swiss francs and less than the 2015 number of 6.2 billion Swiss francs.

Ermotti said that 2017 was highlighted by further clarity on banking regulation internationally, and that the bank's litigation portfolio was reduced further. It said it would have had a 641 million franc profit without the charge.

The company revealed the planned merger of its wealth management business alongside its Q4 and full-year 2017 results statement, which was also accompanied by the announcement of a CHF2bn (US$2.04bn, £744m) share buy-back programme.

The new arm will have two co-presidents, Martin Blessing who now heads up the wealth management unit, and Tom Naratil, president of UBS Americas.

The bank altered a target of repaying 50 percent of net profit at least to shareholders in case its capital ratio lies above 13 percent. Instead, it committed to growing the dividend by mid-to-high single digit percent per year. Excluding this net write-down, net profit would have been 641 million francs.

As well as reporting solid growth at its core worldwide wealth management business, UBS said it will be merging that with its American wealth management business from 1 February.

Zuercher Kantonalbank analysts said UBS's accompanying top-line results were "slightly disappointing", with "only wealth management Americas and asset management posting higher-than-expected earnings".

The Swiss bank has become cautious over the impact that rising interest rates in the USA might have on its margins, given the rates remain very low across the euro zone and in Switzerland remain negative.

We are in a position now to continue the implementation of the bank's capital return police, the ordinary dividend was increased and a buyback program for shares was announced. He has also provided an update to goals that the bank has already achieved or which has become outdated.

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