Swiss bank UBS reports 2Q net profit jump, settlement of German case

GENEVA – Swiss banking giant UBS AG reported a 15 per cent jump Tuesday in second-quarter net profit compared to a year ago, driven by strong results from its core wealth management and trimmed-down investment banking franchises despite a tough market environment.

Switzerland’s biggest bank said its net profit for the April-June period rose to 792 million Swiss francs ($876 million), up from 690 million francs in the comparable period from 2013.

The Zurich-based bank also said that it had settled an investigation in Germany of charges that the bank aided German clients suspected of evading taxes. UBS made a payment of about 300 million francs to put the case to rest.

Its quarterly financial statement said all of its business divisions and regions delivered strong second-quarter operating performances, and that it continued to build its capital reserves to “industry-leading” levels in keeping with global and Swiss rules.

“We delivered strong underlying results in a market environment that remained challenging for our clients and the industry,” Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said. “We also continued to actively address litigation matters, reduce our non-core and legacy assets and execute on our strategic initiatives.”

Looking ahead, the bank said the outlook is clouded by “the absence of sustained and credible improvements to unresolved issues in Europe, continuing U.S. fiscal and monetary policy issues, increasing geopolitical instability and the seasonal decline in activity levels traditionally associated with the summer holiday season.”