UBS’s latest quarterly results beat analysts’ expectations. More importantly—if only for pride’s sake—they also beat the results of local rival Credit Suisse.
Badly hit by the financial crisis, UBS has underperformed Credit Suisse for some time. Its recent reversal of fortune is largely thanks to a resurgence of its investment banking unit, the division primarily responsible for the group’s earlier downfall and government bailout. The bank is adding headcount in the division while it trims staff elsewhere in the group, most notably the client advisors in its beleaguered wealth management unit.
But as an analysis at the parent site argues, the short-term wisdom of riding the global recovery in investment banking activity may not extend to the longer term. Will wealth-management clients flock to the bank based on its strength in increasingly maligned business lines like derivatives trading?