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Swiss Banking Giant UBS To Cut Thousands Of Jobs

DAVID GREENE, Host:

In Europe, banks have slashed tens of thousands of jobs in recent weeks. And in the latest announcement, the Swiss banking giant UBS said yesterday it's cutting 3,500 jobs around the world.

Craig Lemoult from member station WSHU has this report from Connecticut, the home of the bank's U.S. headquarters.

CRAIG LEMOULT: Rumors that UBS could move its headquarters out of Connecticut have been traded for months. But in Stamford yesterday, Governor Dannel Malloy said UBS is staying put.

DANNEL MALLOY: Suffice it to say that this building will be occupied, and it will be a major continuation of the total UBS footprint in the Americas, and at a minimum, we protect 2,000 jobs.

LEMOULT: But if UBS is committing to keeping 2,000 employees in Connecticut, and the bank currently employs 3,500 people in the state, does that mean...

PHILIP LOFTS: No. We're not announcing the layoff of 1,500 people in the state of Connecticut today.

LEMOULT: That's Philip Lofts, the CEO of UBS in America. He stresses the 2,000 employees staying in the state is a minimum. The bank won't disclose where any of the global layoffs will be happening. Lofts says UBS is looking at ways of saving money.

LOFTS: We need to look at how do we make the firm more efficient, improve our agility. So it's a cost exercise, as opposed to purely a headcount exercise.

LEMOULT: As an incentive to stay in Connecticut, the governor says UBS is getting a $20,000 million forgivable loan from the state for infrastructure spending, and could get more money if they add more jobs.

For NPR News, I'm Craig Lemoult in Stamford, Connecticut. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Craig produces sound-rich features and breaking news coverage for WGBH News in Boston. His features have run nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on PRI's The World and Marketplace. Craig has won a number of national and regional awards for his reporting, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards in 2015, the national Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award feature reporting in 2011, first place awards in 2012 and 2009 from the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and second place in 2007 from the national Society of Environmental Journalists. Craig is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Tufts University.