"Intense pressure" on UBS to repay directors' bonuses

6 November 2008

The chairman of UBS has promised to address the issue of directors' compensation amid reports that the crisis-hit Swiss investment bank is coming under "intense pressure" to repay bonuses given out to top executives.

Peter Kurer said he would cover the matter as part of a general re-examination of the bank's remuneration policy slated for its extraordinary general meeting on November 27th.

According to the Independent, a dozen executive board members including Mr Kurer have already said they will forego any bonus payments this year after UBS was battered by losses of around $49 billion (£30.7 billion) linked to the credit crunch.

Last month, UBS was shored up by a $59 billion bailout from Swiss taxpayers.

Since then, pressure has been mounting on the institution, which is Switzerland's biggest bank, to not only freeze new payments but also return the bonuses handed out during its expansion into the risky credit markets that triggered its recent losses.

The main target of the protests is the bank's former chairman and chief executive Marcel Ospel, who received £14 million in 2006, the Times reports.

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