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How we do business


The Board of Directors (BoD) is responsible for setting our firm's values and standards and ensuring we meet our obligations to our stakeholders. Both the Chairman of the BoD and the Group Chief Executive Officer (Group CEO) play a key role in safeguarding our reputation and ensuring we communicate effectively with all our stakeholders.

All BoD committees have responsibilities and authorities of direct relevance to our goal of creating sustainable value. The Governance and Nominating Committee, for instance, addresses all relevant corporate governance issues affecting the UBS Group. The Compensation Committee supports the BoD in its duties to set guidelines on compensation and benefits and evaluates the effectiveness of pay for performance across the firm. While the Risk Committee reviews and proposes to the BoD the guiding principles and framework for risk management and control (including risk appetite, delegation of risk authorities and major risk limits) relative to UBS’s operations and recommend any required changes to that framework.

The Corporate Culture and Responsibility Committee (CCRC) shoulders the main undertaking for corporate culture, responsibility and sustainability. As set out in its charter, the CCRC supports the Board in its duties to safeguard and advance the Group’s reputation for responsible and sustainable conduct. Its function is forward-looking in that it monitors and reviews societal trends and transformational developments and assesses their potential relevance for the Group. The CCRC’s function also encompasses the monitoring of the current state and implementation of the programs and initiatives within the Group pertaining to corporate culture and corporate responsibility. For the UBS and Society platform, the CCRC defines the strategic direction and goals.

Senior-level committees in charge of key aspects of corporate responsibility and sustainability include the UBS and Society Operating Committee, which we established in 2015 to oversee and coordinate the execution of the UBS and Society program. The Committee is chaired by the Wealth Management and Asia Pacific Presidents, who are also the GEB sponsors of the program.

The Global Environmental & Social Risk Committee, also at GEB level, defines the environmental and social risk (ESR) framework and independent controls that align UBS's ESR appetite with the UBS and Society program. It is chaired by the Group Chief Risk Officer, who is responsible for the development and implementation of principles and appropriate independent control frameworks for ESR within UBS.

The GEB oversees our efforts to combat money laundering, corruption and terrorist financing. These efforts are led by a dedicated financial crime team of anti-money laundering (AML) compliance experts. Also overseen by the GEB is our approach to diversity and inclusion. We have a global head of diversity and inclusion to drive a group-wide strategy complemented by divisional and regional initiatives.

Key Policies and Guidelines


The "Code of Conduct and Ethics of UBS" sets out the principles and practices that UBS expects all of its employees and directors to follow unreservedly both in letter and in spirit. The principles and standards set out in the Code should characterize all of UBS's business activities and all its dealings with the firm's stakeholders including clients, colleagues, shareholders, regulators and business partners. It is the basis for all UBS policies, guidelines and statements relating to each of the firm's employees' personal commitment to appropriate and responsible corporate behavior.

The UBS and Society policy defines principles and responsibilities for embedding sustainability systematically across all relevant business and for implementing the ethical standards defined in the Code of Conduct and Ethics that govern UBS's interaction with society and the environment.

We have developed extensive policies intended to prevent, detect and report money laundering, corruption and terrorist financing. These policies seek to protect the firm and our reputation from those who may be intending to use UBS to legitimize illicit assets. Anti-corruption policies and procedures are in place in all business divisions, which aim to prevent bribery occurring throughout our operations. These policies are derived from the standards that are set out in the Group Policy Against Corruption and the Group Policy on Gifts and Business Entertainment

A set of global Guidelines are in place which set out UBS's Community Affairs activities. They seek to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to Community Affairs globally. They outline responsibilities, focus areas, the scope of the programs as well as minimal criteria applicable to all Community Affairs activities and any financial contributions to charities and non-profit organizations made by UBS.

UBS encourages all employees to immediately report any potential violations to their line manager or local compliance officer. Employees can also report them confidentially to the Legal or Compliance & Operational Risk Control teams, using whistle-blowing procedures. UBS will never punish or reprimand anyone who reports these kinds of breaches or violations in good faith. And UBS expects its line managers to escalate and report any violations of laws, rules, regulations, policies, professional standards and the principles of the Code of Conduct and Ethics. All employees have easy access to anonymized, free, internal or external mechanisms for reporting potential violations.

UBS welcomes the UK's implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act") as an important step towards the prevention of modern slavery. UBS will comply with the requirements of the Act by publishing a statement in 2017 setting out the steps it has taken to ensure that modern slavery is not occurring in its supply chain or own organization.

We aim to ensure that our social and environmental values are being followed throughout the supply chain. Since 2008 a firm-wide set of guidelines provides systematic assistance on identifying, assessing and monitoring supplier practices in the areas of human and labour rights, the environmental protection and corruption. A central component of these guidelines is the UBS Responsible Supply Chain Standard to which our direct suppliers are bound by contract. UBS requires its suppliers to apply the same standards in the relationships with their suppliers.

UBS applies an Environmental and Social Risk ("ESR") Policy Framework to identify and manage potential adverse impacts to human rights, as well as the associated risks our clients' and our own assets are exposed to. ESR is deeply rooted in UBS's culture, governs client and supplier relationships and applies firm-wide to all activities. It meets the highest industry standards as vetted by external auditors and recognized by environmental, social, governance ratings. It is integrated in management practices and control principles and overseen at the most senior level of UBS.

External Commitments and Memberships

Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility

Human rights

Environment & climate

Transparency & reporting

  • Global Reporting Initiative (user of GRI G4)
  • SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, member of board of directors since 2013)
  • ISO 14064 certified GHG Emissions



Combating financial crime

We take a rigorous risk-based approach in our commitment to combating money laundering, corruption and terrorist financing. We are also committed to complying with sanctions laws.

Our policies and procedures are designed to detect and mitigate financial crime-related risks. We adhere to strict know-your-client rules and use advanced technology to help identify suspicious transaction patterns. If suspicious activities are discovered, they are promptly escalated to independent control units and external authorities, as required by law. We assess annually the money laundering, bribery and corruption and sanctions risks associated with all our business operations against our control framework, and take actions to further mitigate that risk.

We are a founding member of the Wolfsberg Group, an association of global banks that aims to develop financial services industry standards for policies on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, and on know-your-client principles.

Together with the other members of the Group we work closely with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that helps develop national and international policies on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing through consultation with the private sector. The Wolfsberg Group continued to influence anti-money laundering (AML) in 2015 through its annual forum and regional reach-out meetings with banks globally. It continues to work on guidance papers in key areas of AML.

Our Employees

Our employees’ drive, skill, insight and experience are key to meeting our clients’ needs and growing our businesses.

Our global workforce is already diverse in many aspects; we consider this a competitive strength. We are committed to further increasing our diversity and ensuring an inclusive workplace, because both are key to achieving our goals. Diversity is both a cultural and a business imperative. In all our businesses, we seek to hire and retain a broad range of talent with diversity in race, gender, business experience, perspective, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, abilities, education, and sexual orientation. Our workforce is truly global. At the end of 2015, our employees worked in 897 offices in 54 countries, spoke more than 130 languages and were citizens of 135 countries. Our human resource policies and processes have global coverage and outline our commitment to a non-discriminating, harassment-free workplace with equal opportunities for all employees.

We know that personal accountability, effective performance management and sound compensation practices are critical for our success as a firm. We therefore strive to ensure that our performance management practices are robust and centered on elements that impact our long-term profitability and our culture: namely, performance and behavior. At the beginning of every year, the firm's business goals are translated into individual performance and behavior goals, strengthening the alignment between corporate and employee priorities. Employees and managers are also encouraged to discuss achievements, development and career goals throughout the year. This feedback enables employees to achieve challenging goals, to be effective in their roles and to grow in their careers while helping managers support employees in reaching their full potential.


Our Code of Conduct and Ethics is the basis for the policies, guidelines and procedures that help us manage our workforce. It includes a commitment to support the health and safety of employees and external staff. A safe and healthy work environment supports employees in performing their jobs in a productive and efficient manner. Our activities are based on the following principles:

  • UBS endeavors to maintain a working environment that supports the general health and wellbeing of all employees. Our efforts include flexible working models, competitive vacation and benefits offerings and an open and respectful work environment.
  • With ergonomic workstations, workplace safety standards, measures to protect nonsmokers, reviews of radiation exposure and other initiatives, UBS strives to ensure that its working environment is as efficient, safe and comfortable as possible.
  • UBS takes preventive measures to mitigate potential emergencies in the workplace and to assist employees on business trips. In addition, travel and security experts, crisis management committees, first aid providers, health specialists, social counselors and other specialists are available, if needed.
  • Issues such as personal problems, addictions, conflict in the workplace and harassment impact physical and mental health. UBS assists and advises employees primarily through its Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which are offered in a number of locations globally.


We aim to ensure that our facilities are accessible to everyone regardless of disability, capability or technology. We are continuously optimizing our websites to fit the requirements for a AA rating for accessibility (WCAG). All UBS free-standing cash machines correspond to the recommendations made by ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities ACT accessibility Guidelines). These cash machines have access key buttons and PIN keypads which have been made usable for the visually impaired. Employee networks within UBS promote thinking and actions that to encourage people to focus on ability, not disability.

Sustainability Disclosure 2015

UBS strives to report openly and transparently about the firm's corporate responsibility & sustainability approach and activities both via the UBS and Society section in the UBS annual report and, in more detail, on the UBS and Society website. Additional relevant information is provided in the employees section in the annual report and on the UBS employees website.

We use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as the basis for our corporate responsibility & sustainability reporting and apply a careful process weighing up the materiality and relevance of the information reported and the expectations of all our stakeholders.

UBS's reporting has been reviewed by Ernst & Young Ltd (EY) against the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The content has been prepared in accordance with the comprehensive option of GRI G4 as evidenced in the EY assurance report.


Corporate responsibility

Environmental reports

Our employees

CR online report


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CDP climate change questionnaire

Climate change represents one of the most significant challenges of our time.

UBS is a founding member of the CDP that works to transform the way the world does business to prevent climate change and protect our natural resources. The CDP requests information on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and the risks and opportunities from climate change from thousands of the world’s largest companies. UBS annually responds to the CDP's information request.

UBS is globally certified according to the international environmental management standard ISO 14001

In 1999, UBS was the first bank to obtain ISO 14001 certification for its worldwide environmental management system. The management system covers the entire scope of UBS's products, services and in-house operations which may give rise to an environmental impact. It is audited annually and re-certified every three years by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS). These comprehensive audits verify that appropriate policies and processes are in place to manage environmental issues, and that they are executed in day-to-day practice.

In 2015 UBS successfully passed the ISO 14001 surveillance audit on its environmental management system.


The content index refers to the 2013 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines 'G4' and the Financial Services Sector Supplements which form together a voluntary reporting framework that provides guidance on how organizations can disclose their sustainability performance.

UBS's reporting has been reviewed by Ernst & Young Ltd (EY) against the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The content has been prepared in accordance with the comprehensive option of GRI G4 as evidenced in the EY assurance report. The assurance by EY covered all items of the GRI Content Index.



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Dividends paid on UBS shares


Community investments

64.9 (incl. UBS Education Initiative, Optimus and Switzerland Foundation)

Procurement of products and services


Materiality assessment process

Annually, we conduct a materiality assessment to collate the views of our stakeholders to a wide range of topics. Based on the Global Reporting Initiative, the assessment is managed by a firm-wide, cross-regional team of experts who, by virtue of their roles at UBS, deal with stakeholder expectations every day. In addition, we also regularly invite stakeholders to directly share their views, be it – as was the case in 2014, via an online survey open to all, or via a survey targeting particular groups. In 2015, we tasked a student organization to survey students on their expectations regarding the banking sector. In what we believe to be the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken for a bank, students in seven countries across all continents were asked to prioritize a wide range of topics.

As in previous years, the overall result of the analysis was reviewed by the Corporate Culture and Responsibility Committee. It also becomes part of the decision-making processes of this Board of Directors committee with a particular focus on those topics that were assessed as very relevant or have considerably increased their relevance since last year.

Results 2015

For the GRI G4 materiality assessment the GRI indicators were mapped with the materiality matrix and rated material/immaterial (decision factors were: significance to stakeholders and impact on sustainable performance). We have identified the following material aspects:

Economic Performance
Indirect Economic Impacts
Effluents and Waste
Supplier Environmental Assessment
Labor/Management Relations
Occupational Health and Safety
Training and Education
Diversity and Equal Opportunities
Equal Remuneration for Women and Men
Supplier Assessment for Labor Practices
Labor Practice Grievance Mechanisms
Supplier Human Rights Assessment
Public Policy
Anti-competitive Behavior
Supplier Assessment for Impacts on Society
Grievance Mechanisms for Impacts on Society
Product and Service Labeling
Marketing Communications
Customer Privacy
Product Portfolio
Active Ownership

All material aspects are relevant to all entities consolidated within UBS. Information describing any relevant impacts of the aspects outside UBS is provided as part of the description of the respective GRI indicator/aspects.

Our stakeholders

Clients are at the center of our activities. We are committed to building and sustaining relationships with clients based on trust and integrity. Regular dialogue with clients and their feedback ensures that we understand their expectations.

Collecting client feedback (including via our Quality Feedback management system) enables the firm to act and continuously improve products and client service standards in order to provide the best client experience.

Sustainability topics are considered in client interactions across UBS globally. In 2015, we talked with UBS Wealth Management clients about sustainable investing and philanthropy at venues such as the UBS Global Philanthropy Forum, The Forum drew a record 150 clients and prospects to St. Moritz, Switzerland for two days of interactive discussion and exchange around the theme "Daring to innovate". Wealth Management Americas Philanthropic Services convened a one-day client discussion on innovation in the field of autism. The event brought together 30 accomplished experts and families impacted by autism who have the means to make a difference.

For additional topics of relevance to clients see

Our senior management and the Investor Relations team regularly communicate with the investment community to ensure accurate and timely distribution of our financial results and latest developments.

We believe that our financial disclosures rank amongst the best in the industry and that we are a recognized leader in disclosures in several areas, including capital and strategy. In 2015, we continued to improve efficiency and reduce our Non-core and Legacy Portfolio, improved our leverage ratio and maintained the best fully applied Basel III CET1 ratio in our peer group. Further, our Group net profit for the year rose by 80% to CHF 6.2 billion. Our achievements in 2015 enabled us to deliver attractive returns to our shareholders. Over the past two years, we have undertaken a series of measures to improve the resolvability of the Group in response to TBTF requirements in Switzerland and other countries in which the Group operates.

We also used individual meetings and discussions with shareholder groups focused on sustainability to discuss topics such as compliance, corporate culture, climate change. Such direct dialog with our shareholders helps us with improving our services and with addressing the expectations of our stakeholders.

Find out more about topics of relevance to shareholders:

Our employees are the link between us and our clients, so we do a lot to make sure our employees are well informed and engaged as partners in the firm's long-term success.

As a global company, we inform employees about our strategy and policies, as well as things like goal-setting, new technologies and required training. We also highlight community efforts such our work with lower-income, first generation college-goers in the US through UBS NextGen Leaders. We communicate through a number of news and information channels such as the intranet, Connections (our internal social network), UBS TV, and interactive help/information sites such as "goto/HR".

We also interact directly with employees through personal meetings, emails, all-staff sessions and the firm's Quality Feedback. In 2015, employees attended a number of town halls and small group meetings to discuss relevant issues directly with senior management. For example, regular "Ask the CEO" events allowed employees in every region to discuss issues like the firm's strategy.

Every other year, we survey all employees globally. We're interested in their views on whether we're living up to our principles and behaviors, effectively communicating our strategy and providing a positive and empowering work environment. We inform employees of the results and use them to continuously improve. Complementing this is a smaller survey that we conduct several times a year with a representative sample of employees. This "tracker" survey focuses on communication and engagement topics and allows us to measure our progress between the larger all-employee surveys.

In 2015, we supported 30 employee networks globally, with around 17,500 members. Our networks help employees build cross-business relationships and support an open workplace. The Women's Business Network, for instance, is a group of more than 2,300 UBS employees in Switzerland that supports women's personal and professional development through networking, mentoring and education.

Find out more about topics of interest to employees and potential employees:

Financial market stability is largely dependent on the overall regulatory and political environment and the conduct of the firms within the sector. We actively participate in political discussions to share our expertise surrounding proposed regulatory and supervisory changes including corporate responsibility-related issues such as culture and conduct, and sustainability issues.

In 2015, discussions regarding the future regulatory framework for financial institutions continued to figure prominently among the major topics of the intense dialogue between UBS senior management and specialized functions, governments, regulators and supervisory bodies. Topics included the recovery and resolution planning, loss absorbing capacity (i.e. bail-in debt) to support resolution of global systemically important financial institutions, further changes to the prudential framework for banks, and market and product reforms including the Volcker Rule, OTC Derivative Reforms, US FATCA/OECD Exchange of Information and the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MIFID/R).

With regard to corporate responsibility & sustainability  issues we actively participated in discussions with government bodies. A pertinent example was our efforts pertaining to the Paris Climate Change conference in November 2015. In advance of the conference, UBS signed the World Economic Forum's open letter from CEOs to world leaders urging climate action and the European Financial Services Round Table's statement in support of a strong, ambitious response to climate change. In our home country Switzerland, we continue to actively contribute to pertinent sustainability discussions with various government bodies.

For more information on regulatory topics see UBS's quarterly reports or annual report

We maintain a regular dialogue with politicians globally and strive to establish long-term relationships with political representatives. This dialogue contributes to promoting the interests of UBS and enhancing the firm’s reputation.

Support of the Swiss militia system

UBS appreciates the important role of political parties in the Swiss democratic system, which is the foundation of state, politics and society in Switzerland. Swiss citizens actively and voluntarily engage in political institutions at all three levels of the Swiss state (federal, cantonal, local) as public officials (e.g. members of parliament, members of commissions, executive mandates), while they continue to pursue other professional activities. This arrangement – citizens taking on public tasks and mandates on a part-time basis – is referred to as militia system.

In Switzerland, political parties do not receive state funding, and members of parliament in Switzerland are (usually) not professional politicians. It is for this reason that UBS views the support of the militia system as a crucial component of its societal responsibility in its home market Switzerland. In recognition of the vital function of Switzerland's political parties, UBS provided a total of CHF 1.6 million to political parties in 2015 as a contribution to their operational costs (provided they commit to free competition and the market economy). Financial contributions are calculated based on the number of parliamentary seats the respective party holds at federal and cantonal level. Swiss parties are eligible to apply for a financial contribution if they either form a parliamentary group in the federal parliament or are represented in at least one cantonal government. Financial contributions to parties are granted without any conditions attached. UBS views its contribution to political parties in Switzerland as a long-term commitment, which is, however, subject to regular reviews.

UBS complies with legal requirements on disclosing political donations, as applicable in the relevant jurisdiction. However, UBS does not provide financial support to political parties outside Switzerland. In the US, eligible employees may make financial contributions through a federal Political Action Committee (PAC), the UBS Americas Fund for Better Government. The PAC then makes contributions to federal candidates. These contributions do therefore not constitute political donations by UBS.

Annual "Political Forum" for employees who hold elected public office in Switzerland

UBS expressly supports the political involvement of its employees. About 300 employees currently hold political office at federal, cantonal and local level. If necessary employees may spend a certain amount of their working time on their public duties. UBS organizes an annual "Political Forum" at which senior management and political office holders discuss topics of relevance to UBS in Switzerland.

For more information on governmental topics pertaining to Switzerland see

We actively engage in regular discussions on corporate responsibility and sustainability issues with specialists in peer banks, and more widely through trade bodies and associations. Sharing experiences and assessments of corporate responsibility issues helps us to compare and improve our strategy, approach and tools.

UBS is a founding member of the Wolfsberg Group, an association of global banks, which aims to develop financial services industry standards regarding anti money laundering, know-your-client and counter-terrorist financing policies. Meeting regularly, the Wolfsberg Group also works closely with the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body that helps to develop international and national policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in consultation with the private sector.

In October 2013, we co-launched the Thun Group of Banks’ discussion paper on banking and human rights, which aims to support banks in mapping and analyzing their potentially adverse impacts on human rights, and also looks at related risks, including reputational, legal, operational and financial risks. The paper was very positively received and the Thun Group has continued its discussions since, both in regular calls and in annual meetings 2014 and 2015 at the UBS Conference Center in Thun, Switzerland.

UBS is also an active member of the London Benchmarking Group, an internationally recognized standard for measuring corporate community investment.

We know that our long-term success depends on the health and prosperity of the communities in which we operate. Our longstanding global program of community investment focuses on addressing real need by developing skills through our support for education and entrepreneurship. We achieve impact through a combination of strategic funding and employee volunteering.

Our approach is founded on building sustainable and successful partnerships with non-profit organizations and social enterprises to ensure we make a lasting impact. We engage beyond just financial support – UBS employees are key to the success of our community program. By providing diverse opportunities for our employees to volunteer their time and skills in support of our community partners, we seek to align our community program with our core business. We encourage employees to support our local communities by:

  • Facilitating employee volunteering with local charitable partners
  • Offering employees up to two days a year to volunteer
  • Matching fundraising endeavors and employee donations to charities

For further information and data of relevance to the communities we do business in, see

In 2015 UBS spent CHF 9.9 billion on a broad range of products and services.

A large proportion of this expenditure comprises real estate, outsourcing, IT as well as consultancy and legal fees. Our sourcing and procurement services are provided by an external company, Chain IQ, which applies UBS’s responsible supply chain management (RSCM) framework and processes. The experienced procurement and sourcing specialists at Chain IQ perform supplier due diligence and establish remediation measures, supported by a centralized team of experts within UBS.

We aim to ensure that our social and environmental values are being followed throughout the supply chain. Since 2008 a firm-wide guideline provides systematic assistance on identifying, assessing and monitoring supplier practices in the areas of human and labor rights, the environmental protection and corruption. A central component of this guideline is the UBS Responsible Supply Chain Standard to which our direct suppliers are bound by contract. UBS expects its suppliers to apply the same standards in the relationships with their suppliers.

For further information on our responsible supply chain management, see

We actively engage in dialogue with analysts in rating and research agencies. The evaluation of specialized agencies helps to evaluate our sustainability performance and activities, and provides a useful means for benchmarking.

In 2015, we provided detailed information on our sustainability performance to a range of agencies either in response to questionnaires or via meetings or calls (with environmental, social and governance analysts). Our UBS and Society website regularly serves as a key source of information for these agencies.

We regularly interact with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and appreciate their input and insight, as it helps the firm consider its approach to, and understanding of, societal issues and concerns.

NGOs have long established themselves as the most critical "watchdogs" of companies, both scrutinizing and challenging how we address a broad range of environmental, social and human rights concerns. In 2015 discussions with NGOs focused on the subjects of human rights, climate change, and food speculation.

UBS participates actively in several organizations and initiatives that promote the advancement of corporate responsibility and sustainability. We are among the thought leaders in sustainability in banking.

These memberships and commitments include the United Nations Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative, the CDP and the Principles for Responsible Investment. Our representatives participate in external meetings, events and conferences and use these platforms to exchange ideas, promote joint actions among participants and gain valuable input for the development of our approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability.

In 2015, UBS representatives participated in major corporate responsibility and sustainability events, including the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa and the Paris Climate Change Conference.

We conduct an active and consistent dialogue with media in all of our major locations worldwide.

Our media teams have established direct and long-term relations with media representatives across all our business regions and provide timely information on a wide range of global, regional and local topics of relevance to the firm. Senior management (BoD and GEB-level) also regularly gives account to journalists, predominantly through interviews. In addition to the interviews at our firm's major corporate events (i.e. quarterly and annual reporting and annual general meeting) senior management conducted many other interviews in 2015.

We also communicated with media representatives - through interviews or background talks - on a broad range of corporate responsibility or sustainability topics such as climate change, food speculation and environmental and social risks.

Ratings and recognitions

In 2015 our firm took over the leadership position in the Diversified Financials industry group of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the most widely recognized sustainability rating. The DJSI evaluates companies' sustainability practices and recognizes the best performers. The Industry Group Leader report for UBS cites our support to clients and communities and our integration of societal and financial performance. It also pointed to our work to build UBS's capital strength, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and strengthen risk management through our UBS and Society program.

UBS is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series, an index designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. UBS was given a Top Level ICB Supersector percentile rating of 90 percent out of a full 100 percent.

oekom research AG is one of the world's leading sustainability rating agencies and has actively helped to shape the market for sustainable investments since 1993. oekom research has awarded UBS corporate responsibility prime status, which, according to the oekom Corporate Rating, recognizes industry leaders that have met industry-specific requirements.

Climate Disclosure Leader

With 100 disclosure points, we achieved a top result in the CDP Global Climate Change Report 2015 for our efforts in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the business risks of climate change. The report was produced at the request of 822 investors, who represent 95 trillion USD in assets. CDP provides the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital climate change-related information.

Asset Management's efforts in integrating environmental, social and governance issues into its investment practices have been recognized with strong results in the Principles for Responsible Investment's annual reporting and assessment process. Asset Management was awarded at least an A in half of the categories on which it was assessed, most notably achieving an A+ for the main category Overarching Approach. The Overarching Approach measures an organization’s overall approach to responsible investment, including governance, responsible investment policy, objectives and targets, the resources allocated to responsible investment and the approach to collaboration on responsible investment and public policy-related issues.

Asset Management also improved on its strong 2014 ranking in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) report. In the 2015 GRESB report, the majority of Asset Management's participating real estate funds, managed by Global Real Estate, ranked in the first quartile of their respective peer groups and nine funds were awarded Green Star (top ranking) status.

The UBS Optimus Foundation and its partner Last Mile Health were among a select group of organizations honored at the prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2015 for their work in tackling the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Training and raising awareness

We actively engage in internal and external education and awareness-raising on corporate responsibility and sustainability topics and issues. Through induction, education and broader awareness-raising activities, we ensure that our employees understand their responsibilities in complying with our policies and the importance of our societal commitments. General information is published on our intranet and on our UBS and Society internet site.

In 2015, more than 49,000 employees received training on UBS and Society-related issues; 44,700 of them received general training and 4,500 participated in specialist training targeted at their respective areas of expertise and influence.

In 2015, we developed a new mandatory conduct and culture training module, which includes a comprehensive section on UBS and Society. The training was rolled out to all employees in December 2015.

Throughout the year, we also continued training and raising the awareness of employees, embracing the Code of Conduct and Ethics. All employees have to confirm annually that they have read UBS's key documents and policies, including the Code. Employees were also informed of the firm’s corporate responsibility and sustainability activities through other training and awareness-raising activities.

Employees are required to undergo regular refresher training in issues relating to anti-money laundering, sanctions compliance and anti-corruption. This includes online training, awareness campaigns and seminars.
The Code also focuses on preventing the misuse of the financial system, including in relation to bribery. The specific anti-corruption standards of conduct that apply to all employees are also set out in the Group Policy Against Corruption. The policy sets out our zero-tolerance stance towards corruption and prohibits all forms of bribery by the firm and our employees, including so-called facilitation payments.
The business divisions regularly refresh their web-based training modules to address compliance issues, including anti-corruption standards. All Compliance & Operational Risk employees receive comprehensive mandatory training. Employees in specific areas also receive targeted training on client-related corruption, including the bank's own corruption risks in relation to intermediaries, gifts and entertainment, or when major new developments require additional training (e.g. UK Bribery Act).

Sustainable performance and compensation


We have consistently applied our compensation philosophy over the past five years to appropriately reward outstanding performance in order to attract, motivate and retain the very best talent. The approach we take to compensation supports the firm’s commitment to sustained longer-term profitability, a strong capital position, and aligns compensation with investors’ interests.

Total Reward Principles

Our compensation philosophy is to align the interests of our employees with those of our clients and investors. Our Total Reward Principles underpin our approach to compensation by establishing a framework that balances performance with prudent risk taking. Furthermore, our framework builds on our guiding principles of client focus, excellence and sustainable performance.

Our compensation structure is aligned with our strategic priorities. Employees are encouraged to create sustainable value and profitability, and to build a strong client franchise. We reward behavior that helps to build and protect the firm’s reputation. As such, our approach to compensation has a strong focus on conduct as well as on sound risk and management practices. We strive for excellence and sustainable performance in everything we do, and all employees are encouraged to achieve the highest standards of performance.

Compensation for all employees is based on individual, team, business division and Group performance, within the context of the markets in which we operate. The Total Reward Principles establish the framework for determining our performance award pool, and guide the allocation and appropriate delivery mechanisms of compensation to employees, including deferred compensation programs.

Our Total Reward Principles govern the compensation approach and processes across all locations and entities. The Total Reward Principles establish a framework for managing performance and integrating risk control. They also specify how we structure compensation and provide necessary funding for our performance award pool. These principles and compensation framework apply to all employees globally, but may vary in certain locations due to local laws and regulations.

Managing performance

We have Group-wide ranks and country-specific salary ranges applicable to all employees, as well as a global role classification model. Human resource processes based on these global role profiles support clearly defined career paths and development plans for all employees.

At the beginning of every year, the firm's business goals are translated into individual performance and behavior goals, strengthening the alignment between corporate and employee priorities. Employees and managers are also encouraged to discuss achievements, development and career goals throughout the year. This feedback enables employees to achieve challenging goals, to be effective in their roles and to grow in their careers while helping managers support employees in reaching their full potential.

Our year-end review process measures not only what was achieved, but also how those results were achieved. Since 2013, we have specified the behaviors we expect and have embedded them into performance evaluations. In 2015, we introduced separate ratings for goals and behaviors to further emphasize the importance of integrity, collaboration and challenge in daily business activities, as well as transparency in our management and reward processes. Both goal and behavior ratings factor into development, reward and promotion decisions. In 2015, 99% of the employees eligible to participate received a year-end performance evaluation.

Objectives focusing on our key corporate responsibility and sustainability commitments are set for managers and employees in pertinent departments or units. Most notably, this would include managers and employees in UBS and Society, corporate responsibility, anti-money laundering, human resources, environmental, and community affairs functions.

Group Executive Board

Group Executive Board (GEB) performance awards are at the discretion of the Board of Directors (BoD) based on the assessment of quantitative and qualitative performance measures and, in aggregate, subject to shareholder approval. The compensation for GEB members, including the Group CEO, is governed by a rigorous process with oversight by the Compensation Committee and the BoD.

Annual performance awards for the Group CEO and other GEB members are at the full discretion of the BoD and, in aggregate, subject to shareholder approval at the AGM. Our performance assessment is based on a balanced scorecard, which allows us to assess an individual’s performance against a number of quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs).

At least 80% of performance award is at risk of forfeiture.

Compensation plan forfeiture provisions enable the firm to reduce the unvested deferred portion if the compensation plans’ relevant performance conditions are not achieved.

Our compensation framework contains a number of features designed to ensure that risk is appropriately managed with safeguards to limit inappropriate risk-taking:

  • no upward leverage, such as multiplier factors. Potential realized pay cannot exceed the award granted (excluding potential share price appreciation, dividends and interest payments). The final deferred payout can be forfeited up to 100% in cases where performance conditions are not met or harmful acts provisions apply
  • a balanced mix of shorter-term and longer-term performance awards with a focus on deferral
  • a cap on the total GEB performance award pool of 2.5% of adjusted Group profit before tax
  • individual caps on the proportion of fixed to variable pay for the Group CEO and other GEB members
  • six-month notice period included in the employment contracts
  • an evaluation of the risk control effectiveness and adherence of each GEB member as part of their individual qualitative assessment
  • provisions that enable the firm to trigger forfeiture of some, or all, of the unvested deferred performance award if an employee commits certain harmful acts, or if the employment is terminated for cause

Board of Directors (BoD)

As set out in the Organization Regulations of UBS, BoD committee members must have the necessary knowledge and experience to fulfill their respective functions. Performance and effectiveness of the Chairman, the Board as a whole and each BoD Committee are assessed annually, a process overseen by the Governance and Nominating Committee (GNC). All BoD committees perform a self-assessment of their activities and report back to the full BoD.

The Corporate Culture and Responsibility Committee and its members as a group, are expected to: (i) commit such time to the role as may be necessary for the proper discharge of their duties. An indication of the time expected for this purpose will be set out in each of the CCRC members' letter of appointment; and (ii) have good knowledge of corporate culture and responsibility and relevant political issues and such other experiences in order to perform their duties. The CCRC's chairman is expected to have good knowledge of the relevant committee's area of responsibility together with experiences that the Board considers desirable in the context of that committee's work.

Members of the Board of Directors (BoD) receive fixed fees for their services, 50% of which must be used to purchase blocked UBS shares. The members may elect to purchase blocked UBS shares using up to 100% of their fees. BoD members do not receive variable compensation. This reinforces their focus on long-term strategy, supervision and governance, and helps them remain independent of the firm’s senior management. The Chairman, as a non-independent BoD member, receives a cash payment, UBS blocked shares and benefits.

History of corporate responsibility at UBS


Beginnings of Community Affairs at Wealth Management US


Establishment of Union Bank of Switzerland's 100th anniversary foundation (since 1999: UBS Culture Foundation)


Launch of "A Helping Hand from UBS Employees" (UBS Mitarbeiter helfen) in Switzerland


Establishment of Swiss Bank Corporation's 100th anniversary foundation (since 1999: UBS Foundation for Social Issues and Education)


Beginnings of Community Affairs in EMEA
Establishment of first energy functional unit


Co-founder member of Business in the Community in the UK


First bank in Switzerland with the position of environmental officer


First formal energy guidelines


Among the first signatories of the UNEP bank declaration (UNEP FI)


Introduction of first Environmental Policy


Publication of first environmental report and introduction of environmental credit assessment procedure for Swiss corporate clients


Introduction of employee volunteering at Wealth Management US and of matched-giving scheme for London employees


Launch of first cohesive and branded Community Affairs programme, "Tomorrow's Adults"


Launch of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds
Establishment of IB Community Affairs in Stamford (monetary and in-kind donations, and employee volunteering).


Merger of Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation to create UBS


Founding member of Wolfsberg Group
First bank to obtain ISO 14001 certification for worldwide environmental management system in banking business and launch of Environmental Risk Policy in IB
Establishment of UBS Optimus Foundation


UBS among first companies to sign UN Global Compact
Wolfsberg Group Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Principles for Private Banking (revised 2002)
UBS commences reporting on corporate responsibility in Annual Report


Establishment of Corporate Responsibility Committee, a Board of Directors committee, and publication of first Corporate Responsibility section in Annual Report
Establishment of a Global Diversity Steering Committee within the Investment Bank
Founding member of European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif)
Wolfsberg Group Commitment against Terrorism
Employee volunteering time off policy introduced for London employees


Wolfsberg Group Statement on Fight against Financing of Terrorism and AML Principles for Correspondent Banking
Launch of group-wide Diversity initiative
Founding signatory of CDP (originally known as Carbon Disclosure Project)
Commencement of joint WM and IB Community Affairs programme in Chicago
Expansion of in-house environmental program to Corporate Services outside Switzerland


First financial services firm to formally register interest as an Academy sponsor in the UK (leads to the opening of the The Bridge Academy, Hackney, in 2007)
Institution of NGO communications & analysis function


Establishment of SRI Equity Research in Investment Bank


Establishment of coordination function for Community Affairs in Switzerland
Setting up of UBS Tsunami Relief Fund
UBS commences social reporting in Annual Report (section on employees)


Introduction of Climate Change Strategy
Adoption of UBS Statement on Human Rights
Wolfsberg Group releases Investment Banking FAQs, Guidance for Mutual Funds and Pooled Vehicles, Correspondent Banking FAQs, and Guidance on the Risk Based Approach


Establishment of SRI Research in Global WMBB
Wolfsberg Group Statement against Corruption and Wolfsberg Group Statement on Transparency in International Payments
First company-wide volunteering at Wealth Management US


Introduction of group-wide Responsible Supply Chain Guideline
Wolfsberg Group Revised PEP FAQs


UBS applies Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework to its 2008 non-financial disclosure
UBS's Sustainability Disclosure 2008 meets the requirements of level A+ of the GRI (continued in subsequent years)
UBS Global Asset Management becomes a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)


Launch of UBS's new Code of Business Conduct & Ethics
Publication of UBS Position on Controversial Activities


Convener of Thun Group of Banks on banking of human rights
Establishment of UBS Environmental & Social Risk Committee
Awarded with UK Big Society Award (established by the UK Prime Minister)


UBS celebrates its 150th anniversary (see
Setting up of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society at the University of Zurich
Global roll-out of the Investment Bank’s ESG Analyzer


Thun Group launches discussion paper on banking and human rights
Renewal of Climate Change Strategy


Introduction of UBS Environmental and Human Rights Policy
Launch of "UBS and Society", a dedicated, industry-leading platform for sustainable investing & philanthropy
Publication of UBS's comprehensive Environmental & Social Risk framework document
UBS's Sustainability Disclosure 2013 meets the requirements of GRI G4 comprehensive

Environment and human rights

In-house environmental management - statistics

Environmental targets and performance in our operations 1




Target 2016


% change from baseline

Progress /
Achievement 8



Total net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG footprint) in t CO2e 3




360,501 4


On track

181,066 9

193,872 9

Energy consumption in GWh  




774 5


On track

707 9

758 9

Share of renewable electricity  



100% 6

43.6% 4


On track

52.0% 9

51.6% 9

GHG offsetting (business air travel) in t CO2e  




0 4


On track



Paper consumption in kg per FTE 7




122 5


Behind schedule



Share of recycled and FSC paper  




55.8% 5


On track



Waste in kg per FTE 7




232 5


On track



Waste recycling ratio




53.9% 5


Behind schedule

54.6% 9


Water consumption in m m3  




1.22 5


On track



Environmental indicators 1





2014 2

2013 2



Absolute normalized 4

Data quality 5

Trend 6

Absolute normalized 4

Absolute normalized 4

Total direct and intermediate energy consumption 7


668 GWh


Low decreasing

707 GWh

758 GWh

Total direct energy consumption 8


68 GWh



101 GWh

119 GWh

natural gas




Low Increasing



heating oil







fuels (petrol, diesel, gas)




Low Increasing



renewable energy (solar power, etc.)







Total intermediate energy purchased 9


600 GWh



606 GWh

639 GWh



519 GWh


Low decreasing

548 GWh

575 GWh

electricity from gas-fired power stations




Low decreasing



electricity from oil-fired power stations







electricity from coal-fired power stations







electricity from nuclear power stations




Low decreasing



electricity from hydroelectric power stations




Low Increasing



electricity from other renewable resources







heat (e.g. district heating)


80 GWh



58 GWh

64 GWh

Share of electricity from renewable sources







Total business travel


672 m Pkm



684 m Pkm

658 m Pkm

rail travel 10







road travel 10







air travel







Number of flights (segments)







Total paper consumption


7,358 t



7,471 t

7,693 t

post-consumer recycled




Low decreasing



new fibers FSC 11







new fibers ECF + TCF 11







new fibers chlorine bleached




Low decreasing



Total waste


12,546 t



13,136 t

13,626 t

valuable materials separated and recycled


















Low Increasing



Total water consumption


0.96 m m3


Low decreasing

1.08 m m3

1.09 m m3

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in CO2e







Direct GHG emissions (Scope 1) 12


13,340 t



18,053 t

22,621 t

Gross indirect GHG emissions (Gross Scope 2) 12


179,082 t


Low decreasing

191,837 t

205,920 t

Gross other indirect GHG emissions (Gross Scope 3) 12


101,374 t



96,710 t

94,318 t

Total Gross GHG Emissions


293,797 t



306,600 t

322,858 t

GHG reductions from renewable energy 13


51,199 t



50,230 t

56,375 t

CO2e offsets (business air travel) 14


73,592 t



75,305 t

72,612 t

Total Net GHG Emissions (GHG Footprint) 15


169,006 t


Low decreasing

181,066 t

193,872 t

Environmental indicators per full-time employee







Direct and intermediate energy  

kWh / FTE  


Low decreasing



Business travel  

Pkm / FTE





Paper consumption

kg / FTE






kg / FTE





Water consumption

m/ FTE





CO2 footprint  

t / FTE


Low decreasing




Management indicators5



For the year ended

% change from

Full-time equivalent, except where indicated1






Personnel in financial businesses






Personnel in specialized units/functions






Awareness raising






Employees trained






Specialized training






Employees trained






External audits3






Employees audited






Auditing time (days)






Internal audits4






Employees audited






Auditing time (days)






Environmental and social risk management

Environmental and social risk assessments




For the year ended

% change from







Cases referred for assessment 2






by region












Asia Pacific






Europe, Middle East and Africa












by business division






Wealth Management






Wealth Management Americas






Personal and Corporate Banking






Asset Management






Investment Bank






Corporate Center 3






by sector






Metals and mining






Oil and gas






Agribusiness 4
























Other 5






by outcome






approved 6






approved with qualifications 7






rejected or not further pursued 8






pending 9






Responsible supply chain management

Responsible Supply Chain Management

We embed environmental and social standards into our sourcing and procurement activities. Our responsible supply chain management (RSCM) framework is based on identifying, assessing and monitoring supplier practices in the areas of human and labor rights, the environment, health and safety and anti-corruption, in line with our commitment to the UN Global Compact and the UBS Environmental and Human Rights Policy.

Committing suppliers to comply with our standards

We aim to ensure that our social and environmental values are being followed throughout the supply chain. Since 2008 a firm-wide guideline has provided systematic assistance on identifying, assessing and monitoring supplier practices in the areas of human and labor rights, the environmental protection and corruption. A central component of this guideline is the UBS Responsible Supply Chain Standard to which our direct suppliers are bound by contract. The standard defines our expectations towards suppliers and their subcontractors regarding legal compliance, environmental protection, avoidance of child and forced labor, non-discrimination, remuneration, hours of work, freedom of association, humane treatment, health and safety and anti-corruption issues.

The UBS Responsible Supply Chain Standard (documents)

Responsible Supply Chain Standards in:

Identifying, assessing and monitoring high-impact suppliers

We identify high-impact suppliers when establishing new contracts or renewals based on the suppliers’ provision of goods and services that have either a substantial environmental and social impact or are sourced in markets with potentially high social risks. Such high-impact suppliers are requested to fulfill further requirements towards product and service provision and are assessed against the UBS Responsible Supply Chain Standard. If this assessment reveals any non-compliance with our standard, UBS defines and agrees, together with the supplier, on specific improvement measures which we monitor. Lack of improvement may lead to the termination of the supplier relationship. We also regularly screen active suppliers as part of our environmental and social risk control processes.

The RSCM framework includes an impact assessment of newly sourced goods and services, which takes into account potential environmental and social impacts along the lifecycle of a product or a service, and all purchased goods and services are categorized accordingly.

Suppliers of potentially high-impact goods or services, are requested to conduct a self-assessment on their responsible management practices and to provide corresponding evidence. Actual and potential negative impacts that are considered in the impact assessment of purchased goods and services include:

  • Adverse environmental impacts due to inefficient use of resources (e.g. water, energy, biomass) and emissions during the lifecycle of the product
  • Hazardous substances, emissions, pollutants and limited recyclability of products, adversely affecting people and the environment
  • Unfair employment practices, such as low wages, excessive overtime, absence of occupational health & safety measures
  • Risks for consumer health and safety
  • Procurement and use of materials with a strongly negative environmental and/or social impact
  • Insufficient management of subcontractors regarding sustainability aspects

In 2015, 135 suppliers were classified as suppliers of newly sourced goods or services with potentially high impacts. 44% of these suppliers were considered as in need of improving their management practices. Specific remediation actions were agreed with all of them and the implementation progress has been closely monitored.

We also screened all our significant active suppliers for environmental and human rights issues and 20 suppliers with potential material risks were referred to a specialized environmental and social risk unit for enhanced due diligence. In 2015, no UBS supplier relationship was terminated as a result of RSCM assessments. This can partly be related to the fact that we assess the supplier's potential risks before signing a contract.

How we support our clients

Our sustainable products and services

Sustainable investments1




For the year ended

% change from

CHF billion, except where indicated






UBS total invested assets






Core SI products and mandates






Integration 3






Integration / RPI 4



34.66 5

30.70 5

42 10

Impact investing 6






Exclusionary screening 7






Third-party 8





40 10

Norms-based screening 9





70 10

Total Sustainable investments





62 10

SI proportion of total invested assets (%)






Sustainable investing
Is an approach that seeks to incorporate environmental, social and/or governance considerations into investment decisions. SI strategies seek to achieve one or several of the following objectives: achieve a positive environmental or social impact, align investments with an investor's personal values, or improve portfolio risk and return characteristics.

Core SI products and mandates
Includes all SI products that involve a strict and diligent asset selection process including exclusions and/or different types of positive selection, such as best-in-class, thematic or ESG integration, and impact investing.

Norms-based screening
Includes all assets that are subject to restrictions under UBS policy on the prohibition of investments in companies related to anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions (includes all actively managed discretionary segregated mandates and all actively managed retail and institutional funds).

For clients that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, the Investment Bank provided equity or debt capital market services in 2015 (total deal value CHF 10 billion) or acted as financial advisor (total deal value CHF 35 billion).

The methodology behind these numbers consists first in identifying clients who, through the products and services they offer, work to mitigate the effects of global climate change and help to adapt to changing climate impacts. W use internal expertise from UBS's Asset Management Sustainable Equities team and external third party sources to identify these clients. Their activities span all industry sectors, including renewable energy generation and clean tech but also energy efficiency, waste management, transport, infrastructure renewal and development or water management. They reach from small-cap and pure play startups to large international and diversified companies.

We then aggregated total CHF deal value of all global capital market deals in which UBS acted as lead manager or bookrunner for these companies and aggregate total CHF value of deals where UBS acted as either buy-side or sell-side financial adviser. Note that the data represents all our transactions with these clients and not only to transactions that can be classified as directly climate-related.


Clients expect to be provided with products and services which are suitable for them.

In nearly all countries this expectation has been turned into a legal or regulatory requirement for banks acting as financial advisers. Most jurisdictions also require the systematic assessment and documentation of the suitability of products (including third-party products) and services.

To meet both client expectations and regulatory requirements, UBS has established comprehensive rules for the suitability of products and services. These rules ensure that the assets in the customer portfolio are aligned with the customer’s defined risk profile, and the customer is advised in line with his/her needs (Client Suitability). In addition, the rules ensure that the product documentation contains appropriate and easily understood information on the product characteristics, the target audience and the settings in which the product is used, as well as a balanced representation of the opportunities and risks (Product Suitability).

Suitability Framework

In nearly all countries this expectation has been turned into a legal or regulatory requirement for banks acting as financial advisers. Most jurisdictions also require the systematic assessment and documentation of the suitability of products (including 3rd party products) and services, including compliance with applicable eligibility criteria and sales restrictions. These standards are reflected in local policies and procedures as well as the respective local control framework. The European Union's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is one example of the reflection and implementation by UBS of specific standards required by a regulator in the applicable local control framework. Other locations apply similar standards as required by the relevant local regulators.

To meet both client expectations and regulatory requirements, Wealth Management (WM) and Personal & Corporate (P&C) have established a Suitability Framework. This framework is supported by the UBS Client Experience with its structured advisory process, followed by the implementation of agreed solutions and by the proper documentation of the steps taken during this process. It is completed by requirements for monitoring and control activities which target - amongst others - at capturing tail-risks. The existing global WM and R&C Suitability Framework is currently being revised to reflect the evolving legal and regulatory landscape.

Within the frame of its UBS Client Experience (Understand - Propose - Agree & Implement - Review), WM and P&C have established a structured advisory process, which is supported by a number of forms and tools at the disposal of the client advisors: In a first step, these forms and tools support the initial identification of a client's investor profile, including - amongst others - investment objectives and risk ability. In a second step, they serve the identification of an appropriate investment strategy for a specific client portfolio. Furthermore, a number of tools and platforms have been established, which allow for matching a client's investment strategy with appropriate investment proposals as well as to support client advisors in the review step.

Advisory platforms and tools segment products along the lines of their risk characteristics and thereby help clients and client advisors properly assess the impact of investment products and services on a client's portfolio. Additional processes provide for checks, that product documentation made available to both client advisors and clients contains adequate and easy-to understand information on product characteristics, balanced presentation of opportunities and risks, target audiences as well as scenarios for which a product could be used. Finally, specific legal documentation is required for certain products with specific risks (e.g. hedge funds).

Primary ownership of suitability risk and the responsibility for addressing suitability risk is owned by the business. Divisional policies in WM and P&C, WMA, IB, and Global AM (EMEA) make this clear. UBS has accordingly pursued a divisional approach to ensure compliance with rapidly changing regulatory regimes, as well as to address particular suitability obligations and remediation of identified gaps relating to the divisions.

Monitoring and controls for suitability follow a three tiered approach: the first level controls are conducted by origination under its Origination Control Framework, which is largely a set of controls designed to prevent/detect operational risks that arise in Origination and to ensure that residual risk corresponds to risk appetite. The second level controls are performed by Compliance & Operational Risk Control as a Global Minimum Control Standards, which is part of the overall Compliance & Operational Risk Control Framework. These controls focus on both a "check the checker" approach, plus thematic, deep dive reviews. The third level controls sit with Group Internal Audit, as part of its annual Audit plan.

The UBS Client Experience also includes after-sales communication. These communications are, again, supported by a number of tools and platforms, including ready-to-use reporting and presentation material.

Voting rights

We believe that voting rights have economic value and should be treated accordingly. Where Asset Management has been given the discretion to vote on behalf of our clients, we will exercise our delegated fiduciary responsibility by voting in the manner we believe will be most favorable to the value of their investments. In the 12-month period ended 31 December 2015, we voted on 87,348 individual resolutions at 8,654 shareholder meetings, for clients that provided us with voting discretion according to Asset Management's corporate governance principles.

Since 2010, Asset Management in Switzerland has been offering UBS Voice, a service enabling holders of Swiss institutional funds to express voting preferences ahead of shareholder meetings of major Swiss corporations. This provides additional shareholder input into the voting decisions of the funds’ management company. 41% of invested assets for which UBS Voice is offered are covered by this service.