Swiss banking giant UBS has announced plans to change the functional currency of its group and London branch operations to US dollars from Swiss francs and British pounds, respectively.
The proposed move, revealed in the bank’s latest annual report, stems from changes in the bank’s legal structure and its structural currency management strategy.
“Assets, liabilities and total equity would be converted to US dollars at historic closing rates prevailing on the respective balance sheet dates. No material changes are expected to our capital ratios nor are material changes expected to our other key performance indicators,” the bank said.
At the same time, the bank also revealed plans to make “significant changes” in its UK and EU operations due to the uncertainties triggered by Brexit.
“The nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU remains unclear. Any future limitations on providing financial services into the EU from our UK operations could require us to make potentially significant changes to our operations in the UK and the EU, and to our legal structure,” UBS noted.
Due to the lack of clarity around Brexit, the bank plans to merge its UK subsidiary into its Germany-based unit before Britain quits EU in March 2019.
“We further anticipate that some staff would be relocated as a result; the exact number of staff and roles would be determined in due course,” the bank noted.
In addition, the group highlighted plans to invest in technology in order to drive growth.
“We intend to secure our position as a leader in the digital age by maintaining expenditure on technology of at least 10% of the Group’s revenues for the foreseeable future,” the bank stated.