UBS profit jumps, beating expectations

UBS Group AG UBS, -0.93% said on Friday that its third-quarter net profit rose significantly, beating expectations.

Swiss regulator Finma has been reviewing bank assets in preparation for tougher global standards and UBS is warning that implementing Switzerland's new banking standards and more changed to national and worldwide regulation for banks will result in increased capital requirements, funding and operating costs.

The number is nonetheless above the bank's own consensus report, which indicated, earlier this month, a net income of 0.897 billion Swiss francs.

UBS said it had now achieved 1.9 billion francs of its 2.1 billion francs cost-cutting target and is "on track" to achieve this aim by end-2017.

Beyond the headline profits, business in its main divisions looked mixed.

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Adjusted pre-tax operating profit at its global Wealth Management division rose 9 percent to 701 million francs in the quarter, traditionally a slow period due to the summer break.

Reported profit before tax increased 39% from a year ago to 1.22 billion francs and adjusted profit before tax grew 16% to 1.51 billion francs.

UBS' investment bank slashed its spending by more than 6 percent, to protect its profits from low client activity and little market volatility - the bane of its existence. In particular, high asset prices, uncertainty over central bank balance sheet and interest rate policies, seasonality factors and the persistence of low volatility may continue to affect overall client activity. The bank's smallest unit, asset management, hiked profits before tax by almost one-quarter to 127 million francs by cutting spending.

The bank, which added 1,326 employees in the quarter, also cautioned that upcoming financial regulation will cost it more capital, funding and spending.

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