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The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland June 22, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland June 22, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Zurich — UBS executives earned less in 2021, Switzerland's biggest bank said on Monday, as bonuses for top management were cut after the bank took a $861m hit from the collapse of US fund Archegos Capital Management.

The drop came despite the bank posting its best annual profit since 2006.

In his first full-year as CEO, Ralph Hamers received 11.5-million Swiss francs, the bank said in its annual compensation report, less than the 13.2-million Swiss francs his predecessor Sergio Ermotti collected for his 10 months in the role in 2020.

“In addition to the overall 2021 performance of the group and Mr Hamers' achievements … the [board of directors] also considered other factors, such as a loss from a US-based client of our prime brokerage business,” UBS said in the report, referring to the Archegos-related loss.

Hamers joined UBS in September 2020, and took over as CEO in November that year.

Across the bank, the total performance-based bonus pool rose 10% to $3.7bn from $3.3bn in 2020.

UBS reported its best annual profit since the global financial crisis for 2021, allowing it to step up share buybacks and set more ambitious profit goals.

That was despite a $774m charge Switzerland's biggest bank reported in the first quarter of 2021 from the collapse of Archegos, which cost global banks more than $10bn when the stricken family office defaulted on margin calls.

For the full-year, UBS recognised a $861m pretax loss taken on Archegos, as it incurred a further loss in the second quarter.

The group's overall executive board collected compensation of 107.8-million Swiss francs in 2020, down from 115.9-million Swiss francs in 2020. Performance-related bonuses fell to reflect the impact of Archegos, the bank said.

Reuters

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