The Annual Review is provided as a convenience to our investors, clients and other stakeholders who would like a brief overview of our business, strategy and performance in 2020. It should be read in conjunction with UBS’s Annual Report 2020, which contains more detailed information and disclosure, including management discussion and analysis, and audited financial statements. Details about how to obtain the Annual Report 2020 and other publicly available information about UBS, including the Annual Report 2020 on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2020, are set out on page 73 of this document. The information contained in this document is not to be construed as a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments in Switzerland, the US or any other jurisdiction. No investment decision relating to securities of, or relating to, UBS Group AG or its affiliates should be made on the basis of this document. Unless otherwise indicated, figures are as of, or for the year ended, 31 December 2020.
The use of the SDG logo, including the color wheel, and icons by an entity does not imply the endorsement of the United Nations of such entity, its products or services, or of its planned activities. UBS joined forces with BOTTLETOP to create #TOGETHERBAND to raise money for selected charities. Bottletop and UBS Financial Services Inc. are not affiliated.
Not all products and services described herein are available in all jurisdictions.
Sustainable investing strategies aim to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into investment process and portfolio construction. Strategies across geographies and styles approach ESG analysis and incorporate the findings in a variety of ways. The returns on portfolios consisting primarily of sustainable investments may be lower or higher than portfolios where ESG factors, exclusions, or other sustainability issues are not considered, and the investment opportunities available to such portfolios may also differ.
Awards were independently determined and awarded by the publication’s editorial team. For more information, visit their website. UBS did not pay a fee in exchange for these awards.
The UBS Optimus Foundation is a grant-making foundation that helps UBS clients use their wealth to drive positive social change for children. The foundation selects programs that improve children’s health, education and protection, ones that have the potential to be transformative, scalable and sustainable.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements | This report contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” including but not limited to management’s outlook for UBS’s financial performance and statements relating to the anticipated effect of transactions and strategic initiatives on UBS’s business and future development. While these forward-looking statements represent UBS’s judgments and expectations concerning the matters described, a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors could cause actual developments and results to differ materially from UBS’s expectations. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the measures taken in response to the pandemic have had and may continue to have a significant adverse effect on global economic activity, and an adverse effect on the credit profile of some of our clients and other market participants, which has resulted in and may continue to increase credit loss expense and credit impairments. In addition, we face heightened operational risks due to remote-working arrangements, including risks to supervisory and surveillance controls, as well as increased fraud and data security risks. The unprecedented scale of the measures taken to respond to the pandemic as well as the uncertainty surrounding vaccine supply, distribution, and efficacy against mutated virus strains create significantly greater uncertainty about forward-looking statements in addition to the factors that generally affect our businesses, which include, but are not limited to: (i) the degree to which UBS is successful in the ongoing execution of its strategic plans, including its cost reduction and efficiency initiatives and its ability to manage its levels of risk-weighted assets (RWA) and leverage ratio denominator (LRD), liquidity coverage ratio and other financial resources, including changes in RWA assets and liabilities arising from higher market volatility and other changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic; (ii) the degree to which UBS is successful in implementing changes to its businesses to meet changing market, regulatory and other conditions; (iii) the continuing low or negative interest rate environment in Switzerland and other jurisdictions; (iv) developments (including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) in the macroeconomic climate and in the markets in which UBS operates or to which it is exposed, including movements in securities prices or liquidity, credit spreads, and currency exchange rates, and the effects of economic conditions, market developments, and geopolitical tensions, and changes to national trade policies on the financial position or creditworthiness of UBS’s clients and counterparties as well as on client sentiment and levels of activity; (v) changes in the availability of capital and funding, including any changes in UBS’s credit spreads and ratings, as well as availability and cost of funding to meet requirements for debt eligible for total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC); (vi) changes in or the implementation of financial legislation and regulation in Switzerland, the US, the UK, the European Union and other financial centers that have imposed, or resulted in, or may do so in the future, more stringent or entity-specific capital, TLAC, leverage ratio, net stable funding ratio, liquidity and funding requirements, heightened operational resilience requirements, incremental tax requirements, additional levies, limitations on permitted activities, constraints on remuneration, constraints on transfers of capital and liquidity and sharing of operational costs across the Group or other measures, and the effect these will or would have on UBS’s business activities; (vii) the degree to which UBS is successful in implementing further changes to its legal structure to improve its resolvability and meet related regulatory requirements and the potential need to make further changes to the legal structure or booking model of UBS Group in response to legal and regulatory requirements, proposals in Switzerland and other jurisdictions for mandatory structural reform of banks or systemically important institutions or to other external developments, and the extent to which such changes will have the intended effects; (viii) UBS’s ability to maintain and improve its systems and controls for the detection and prevention of money laundering and compliance with sanctions to meet evolving regulatory requirements and expectations, in particular in the US; (ix) the uncertainty arising from the UK’s exit from the EU; (x) changes in UBS’s competitive position, including whether differences in regulatory capital and other requirements among the major financial centers will adversely affect UBS’s ability to compete in certain lines of business; (xi) changes in the standards of conduct applicable to our businesses that may result from new regulations or new enforcement of existing standards, including measures to impose new and enhanced duties when interacting with customers and in the execution and handling of customer transactions; (xii) the liability to which UBS may be exposed, or possible constraints or sanctions that regulatory authorities might impose on UBS, due to litigation, contractual claims and regulatory investigations, including the potential for disqualification from certain businesses, potentially large fines or monetary penalties, or the loss of licenses or privileges as a result of regulatory or other governmental sanctions, as well as the effect that litigation, regulatory and similar matters have on the operational risk component of our RWA as well as the amount of capital available for return to shareholders; (xiii) the effects on UBS’s cross-border banking business of tax or regulatory developments and of possible changes in UBS’s policies and practices relating to this business; (xiv) UBS’s ability to retain and attract the employees necessary to generate revenues and to manage, support and control its businesses, which may be affected by competitive factors; (xv) changes in accounting or tax standards or policies, and determinations or interpretations affecting the recognition of gain or loss, the valuation of goodwill, the recognition of deferred tax assets and other matters; (xvi) UBS’s ability to implement new technologies and business methods, including digital services and technologies, and ability to successfully compete with both existing and new financial service providers, some of which may not be regulated to the same extent; (xvii) limitations on the effectiveness of UBS’s internal processes for risk management, risk control, measurement and modeling, and of financial models generally; (xviii) the occurrence of operational failures, such as fraud, misconduct, unauthorized trading, financial crime, cyberattacks and systems failures, the risk of which is increased while COVID-19 control measures require large portions of the staff of both UBS and its service providers to work remotely; (xix) restrictions on the ability of UBS Group AG to make payments or distributions, including due to restrictions on the ability of its subsidiaries to make loans or distributions, directly or indirectly, or, in the case of financial difficulties, due to the exercise by FINMA or the regulators of UBS’s operations in other countries of their broad statutory powers in relation to protective measures, restructuring and liquidation proceedings; (xx) the degree to which changes in regulation, capital or legal structure, financial results or other factors may affect UBS’s ability to maintain its stated capital return objective; and (xxi) the effect that these or other factors or unanticipated events may have on our reputation and the additional consequences that this may have on our business and performance. The sequence in which the factors above are presented is not indicative of their likelihood of occurrence or the potential magnitude of their consequences. Our business and financial performance could be affected by other factors identified in our past and future filings and reports, including those filed with the SEC. More detailed information about those factors is set forth in documents furnished by UBS and filings made by UBS with the SEC, including UBS’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2020. UBS is not under any obligation to (and expressly disclaims any obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Adjusted results | Please refer to the “Group performance” section of our Annual Report 2020 for more information on adjusted results.
Rounding | Numbers presented throughout this report may not add up precisely to the totals provided in the tables and text. Percentages and percent changes are calculated on the basis of unrounded figures. Information about absolute changes between reporting periods, which is provided in text and which can be derived from figures displayed in the tables, is calculated on a rounded basis.
Tables | Within tables, blank fields generally indicate that the field is not applicable or not meaningful, or that information is not available as of the relevant date or for the relevant period. Zero values generally indicate that the respective figure is zero on an actual or rounded basis. Percentage changes are presented as a mathematical calculation of the change between periods.