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FX poll 2003: UBS finds the secret of success

Following last year's surprise jump up the rankings, UBS has now made it to the top of the market share table in Euromoney's annual forex poll. Katie Astbury reports; research by Andrew Newby, Paul Pedzinski and Dave Skallinder.

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Fabian Shey, global head of forex services, UBS: "We operate this business at a profit."

The growing success of UBS in the foreign exchange market has fuelled the envy of competitors as well as attracting customers. "If I could spend just two days in any other firm to find out how they are running their foreign exchange business, it would be UBS," sighs the global head of forex at a rival firm. With UBS becoming the bank with the biggest market share in the 2003 Euromoney forex poll, who can blame him?

That global head is not alone. Senior bankers at all the top forex firms tell the same story. "I take my hat off to UBS - they've done a great job," says one.

Martin Wiedmann, global head of forex distribution, UBS: "We have fewer staff, more productive staff, and fewer servers."

There is a grudging sense that UBS deserves recognition for becoming only the second bank ever (after Deutsche Bank in 2000) to depose Citigroup, the winner of the Euromoney annual forex poll in every other year since its inception in 1979.

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