* UBS CEO urges regulators to clarify new banking rules
* Completion of Basel IV has been on hold
* Bankers don't expect progress until at least the autumn
(Updates with results of pay votes)
By Joshua Franklin
BASEL, Switzerland, May 4 UBS Group AG
Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti urged global regulators to
clarify new banking rules, complaining they were still being
debated almost a decade on from the outbreak of the financial
"It is right that banks are expected to think and act long
term. But this is almost impossible without stable and finalised
regulations," Ermotti said in a speech at UBS's annual general
meeting on Thursday.
"Almost 10 years on from the financial crisis, and there is
still no clarity on this issue. And it helps neither us nor the
economy at large to keep banks in the penalty box."
He joined a chorus of calls from European bankers to hit the
pause button on new rules from watchdogs.
Since the 2007-09 financial crisis - which caused a global
recession and led to government bailouts for many big banks,
including UBS - regulators have been working to toughen capital
requirements and tackle the problem of banks being too big to
Banks have dubbed the remaining capital rules "Basel IV",
meaning a step change in capital on Basel III rules, as Basel IV
aims to iron out big differences in the way banks assess risks
from loans, a key calculation that determines the size of their
However, the completion of Basel IV has been on hold pending
changes in U.S. regulatory officials by President Donald Trump's
new administration. Bankers say they don't expect progress until
at least the second half of the year.
Since 2007 UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank and the world's
largest private bank by assets, has cut the size of its balance
sheet from 2.5 trillion Swiss francs ($2.52 trillion) to 935
billion, Ermotti said, adding that lower regulatory and legal
costs could allow UBS to increase payouts to shareholders.
UBS has incurred 3.9 billion Swiss francs in costs since
2012 to cover legal fees and new regulations.
UBS shareholders comfortably voted in favour of the proposed
compensation for the executive management team and board of
directors, in contrast to shareholder opposition at last week's
investor meeting for rival Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse investors spoke out against the decision to
pay management millions in bonuses despite losing 2.7 billion
francs last year. UBS reported a net profit of 3.3 billion
"Compared with Credit Suisse, which had a loss, it really is
very positive," said retail investor Hermann Struchen, who also
spoke at Credit Suisse's AGM. "I talked differently at Credit
($1 = 0.9922 Swiss francs)
(Additional reporting by Angelika Gruber; Editing by Michael
Shields and Susan Fenton)