UBS wins Euromoney's best bank award
Euromoney gave its prestigious best bank award in 2003 to UBS because of the firm's sharp focus and because of management's ability to avoid credit losses and proprietary trading problems -- some of the factors among many why UBS's share price has held up better than most peers.
"It has striven to be a global leader in wealth and asset management and investment banking. These are businesses subject to securities market cycles. Yet, even with global equity indices falling over the previous year, UBS had done well in its chosen markets in market share and financial returns. It has won private-banking client assets, as other banks have lost them. It has risen to the top of the tree in foreign exchange, a market traditionally dominated by commercial banks, and in equities, traditionally dominated by the US securities houses," Euromoney said.
"Strategic consistency has been a key for us," UBS president Peter Wuffli told Euromoney. "So we didn't go into bancassurance - even though that was a temptation in recent years, given prices - nor into retail banking outside Switzerland. We do not see a workable pan-European retail model. Instead we have maintained our focus and striven to balance cost control and risk control on the one hand and achieving organic growth on the other."
According to the magazine, UBS has also been "ruthless" on costs and with regards to its balance sheet.
"We've moved out of non-core loans. We'll use our balance sheet to support specific client relationships," Wuffli told the magazine, adding, "But we've also exited certain relationships."
Wuffli also told the magazine that UBS's integrated business model is a key distinguishing factor, as it has "an integrated model, with one management group and culture which you need to manage the trade-offs between the bankers who represent the clients and the risk control people who defend the balance sheet".