As confirmed to Funds Society by UBS Private Banking sources, the bank plans to gradually close its private banking operations in the Bahamas, where it employs about 70 people, between now and the end of 2014. Part of this workforce has already been relocated to other positions within the bank.
According to the Bahamian press, which was the first to break the news last March, UBS will reduce its private banking activity in the Bahamas but will continue to focus on its Trust Department, which it plans to strengthen.
The decision to reduce its presence in Nassau, where it provided trust and wealth management services, comes after undertaking a thorough evaluation of the bank's international destinations. “Based on economic feasibility considerations, the UBS group has decided to dismantle its subsidiary in the Bahamas, UBS (Bahamas) Limited,” the bank declared in a statement to The Bahama Journal.
The bank wished to clarify that “the decision will not affect UBS Trustees (Bahamas). The shutdown process shall be completed in late 2014 and will proceed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Financial Services of The Bahamas.”
It also confirms that UBS shall offer its clients the ability to transfer their assets to other UBS booking centers or to a service provider of the client’s choice.
“A scheme to assist affected employees has been set in motion, and a considerable number of them will be offered other positions and jobs within the UBS group,” UBS confirmed.