2008 - 2015

Banks face and master new - as well as old - challenges


Switzerland and the world


In June UBS raises approximately 15 billion Swiss francs in additional funds through a public capital increase.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and UBS announce a comprehensive solution to materially de-risk and reduce UBS's balance sheet. The SNB undertakes to acquire securities held by UBS in an amount of up to 60 billion US dollars to relieve UBS's balance sheet. By spring 2009, the SNB StabFund, a special purpose vehicle established by the SNB, has acquired such securities in the total amount of 39.6 billion US dollars.

UBS receives a capital injection of 6 billion Swiss francs from the Swiss Confederation and creates conditional share capital for the issuance of mandatory convertible notes for 6 billion CHF to the Swiss Confederation.

UBS ceases providing cross-border services to private banking clients domiciled in the United States through non-U.S. regulated entities.

UBS reports a pre-tax loss of 34,300 million CHF. The net loss attributable to UBS shareholders is 19,697 million CHF for full-year 2008.

Lehman Brothers bankrupt

Global financial crisis. The investment bank Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection, prompting a number of countries such as the U.S., the UK, Germany, France and the entire EU to launch substantial support programs for the financial sector.

Asia natural catastrophes


Asia is hit by two natural catastrophes. Cyclone 'Nargis' hits Burma leading to the death of at least 130,000 people and making up to 1 million people homeless, while a strong earthquake in China leaves more than 69,000 people dead, nearly 400,000 injured and several million homeless in the Chinese province of Sichuan.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, candidate of the Democratic Party, is elected 44th president of the United States. Barack Obama is the first non-white President in office.


Cern Peter Higgs

Particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest research application in the world, is started up in Geneva.

Large Hadron Collider


In 2009, a substantially recomposed Board of Directors, together with a new Group Executive Board, take on the challenge of restructuring UBS.

The Swiss Confederation successfully completes a placement of 332.2 million UBS shares from the conversion of its UBS mandatory convertible notes (MCN). At the same time, the Confederation sells its future MCN coupon payments back to UBS for cash. The Confederation thus exits its entire investment in UBS and, in doing so, has recouped its initial investment of CHF 6 billion and additionally generated a return of approximately CHF 1.2 billion.

UBS sells its Brazilian financial services business, UBS Pactual, in line with its policy to minimize its risk profile by enhancing core capital.

The UBS Board of Directors decide against legal action against former senior executives in connection with UBS's subprime-related losses and its former U.S. cross-border business for private clients.

UBS Saudi Arabia receives approval from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to commence securities business activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In the fourth quarter, UBS returns to profitability with its equity position solid and, compared to the situation at the outbreak of the financial market crisis, its balance sheet total and risks reduced by some 50 percent.

Island financial crisis

The Icelandic banking system and government collapse.

General Motors files for Chapter 11 reorganization in the Manhattan New York Federal Bankruptcy Court on June 1.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) removes Switzerland from its "grey list" of tax havens.

Kepler Mission

NASA's Kepler Mission is launched from Cape Canaveral. The space photometer will search for planets outside of the solar system.


UBS starts its new brand campaign "We will not rest" which demonstrates UBS's unwavering commitment to understanding and delivering what our clients want, and to relentlessly pursuing their investment success.

UBS commences sponsorship of Formula One Racing.

Financial crises hit Greece and Ireland.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that by April, banks worldwide have had to write down approximately 2,300 billion US dollars during the course of the financial market crisis. Hardest hit were the US banks Citibank and Merrill Lynch with UBS ranked third worldwide for highest total losses incurred and first among the banks in Europe.

Haiti earthquake


Haiti is hit by an earthquake of 7.0 in magnitude that causes more than 300,000 casualties.


Following the devastating impact of the financial crisis and subsequent restructuring and reorganization, UBS officially announces its turnaround in April.

In September, UBS announces the discovery of unauthorized trading by a trader in its Investment Bank in London. The loss resulting from the incident is USD 2.3 billion.

Tsunami Japan

An extremely powerful earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan, triggers extremely destructive tsunami waves causing loss of life and destruction of infrastructure and a number of nuclear accidents.

Middle Eastern civilian protests

Popular uprising in Egypt

Middle Eastern governments in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Qatar and Syria are shaken by a sudden surge of civilian protests and demands for freedom and democracy.


The anniversary

UBS celebrates its 150th anniversary.


Multi-channel digital strategy

Digital strategy

UBS starts a major multi-channel digital strategy.

UBS commits to building a dedicated, industry-leading sustainability platform. It is launched in 2014 as "UBS and Society".

Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected as the new pope.

One of the strongest tropical cyclones on record, Typhoon Haiyan, hits the Philippines and Vietnam.


Pillars, Principles and Behaviors

UBS launches the key elements of its corporate strategy, identity and culture: "Pillars", "Principles", "Behaviors".

UBS starts transforming into a holding company.

The Branch Format project in Switzerland is completed with the conversion of 300 branches to a more customer-friendly and consistent design.

In November, the Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

The Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa begins, infecting over 28,000 people and killing at least 11,000 people.


Global brand campaign

Am I a good father

UBS launched its global brand campaign, reflecting the firm's strategic transformation and future direction. The external launch follows a three-month internal campaign that inspired unprecedented rates of employee engagement.

UBS runs the UBS Future of Finance Challenge, a four-month competition that aims to identify innovative and potentially disruptive technological ideas and solutions to support the transformation of the banking industry.

In December, a global climate change pact is agreed at the COP 21 summit in Paris, committing all 195 participant countries to reduce carbon emissions.

In January, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly removes the floor from the Swiss EURCHF exchange rate.