UBS Chairman Quits

Peter Kurer, General Counsel of the troubled Swiss bank, will replace Marcel Ospel as chairman, following another $19 billion of subprime-related losses.

UBS's current chairman, Marcel Ospel, will not seek re-election at the bank's annual general meeting on 23 April, following revelations that the Swiss bank has written down another $19 billion from bad investments it made in US sub-prime securites.

Ospel had already taken a 90% pay cut, after the bank suffered $18.4 billion in sub-prime write-downs last year.

“For the first quarter 2008, UBS expects to report a net loss attributable to UBS shareholders of approximately CHF 12bn after losses and writedowns of approximately $19 billion on US real estate and related structured credit positions,” the company said in a statement.

UBS also annonuced a CHF 15bn rights issue on Tuesday, which it says is fully underwritten by four leading international banks, to strengthen its tier 1 capital.