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Private banking: UBS sends message to wealthy clients

Welcome signs of continuing profit growth; fixed-income rebuilding fast.

  UBS chief executive Oswald Grübel

Momentum: Oswald Grübel addresses the shareholders meeting in April

In rushing out the early announcement last month of a first-quarter pre-tax profit of SFr2.5 billion ($2.3 billion), UBS chief executive Oswald Grübel clearly hoped to persuade fractious shareholders gathering for the bank’s annual meeting in mid-April that his turnaround of UBS is well under way. The consensus among many analysts covering the bank had been that it would report just under SFr2 billion for the first quarter, so this came as a welcome sign of gathering momentum.Efforts to rebuild the fixed-income and credit-trading businesses are clearly bearing fruit. On March 30, the bank responded to press reports that FICC would bring in $2.3 billion of revenue as being "slightly higher" than its own forecast as the quarter drew to a close. Official figures were due to be released on May 4, after Euromoney went to press.

In an interview published in February, Grübel admitted to Euromoney that "the fixed-income business was more or less destroyed last year".

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