UBS CEO Says Remote Work ‘Here to Stay’ as Clients Move Online

UBS Group AG Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers said investment bankers will be able to work part of their time from home under a new, permanent hybrid model that the bank is rolling out.

While some roles such as traders will find it easier to work from the office, at least two-thirds of staff in the investment bank should be able to do some of their work from home, Hamers said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Tuesday. Even clients at the lender have signaled they prefer holding some meetings online, rather than coming to the office, he said.

“Traders are clearly part of the 25% to one-third of the roles for which it is really difficult to work from home,” Hamers said. “But beyond that, there’s two-thirds to 75% of our roles that can be performed in a mix of working from home and working in the office.”

UBS CEO Says Remote Work ‘Here to Stay’ as Clients Move Online

Switzerland’s largest bank is allowing at least two-thirds of its employees to mix working at home and the office, as it seeks to cut costs and gain a recruitment edge over Wall Street banks taking a more hardline approach. Hamers, who built a reputation for using technology to cut cost as former CEO of ING Groep NV, said hybrid work models had already been developed before the pandemic, which only accelerated their use.

“Its a new way of working,” he said. “It is here to stay.”

The move by UBS is in stark contrast with many of its U.S. rivals, which are pressing ahead with bringing employees back to the office even as they keep a wary eye on Covid-19 variants. Among European lenders, Deutsche Bank AG told U.S. investment bankers that it expects them back in the company’s offices by early September, though the company has said it’s working on plans to allow staff to work from home up to three days a week.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.