ST. GALLEN, Switzerland May 4 UBS's
Swiss boss Martin Blessing said on Thursday the number of Swiss
banking industry employees was likely to continue to shrink over
the next decade as demand for repetitive, face-to-face services
The Swiss banking industry employed 103,041 people in 2015,
according to figures from the Swiss Bankers Association,
compared with 105,735 two years earlier and more than 108,000 in
2007, before the financial crisis.
"My guess would be that the number will go down over the
next 10 years, I don't know the percentage," Blessing said at a
university conference in Switzerland.
"We see that clients are coming less frequently to our
branches," he told attendees at the St. Gallen Symposium.
Blessing, an ex-Commerzbank boss whom UBS
recruited last year to head its domestic business, added that
some banking activities, in particular those that occur less
frequently or which are perceived to have higher value including
those for deep-pocketed clients, will continue to require
employees to conduct personalised transactions.
"In transactions that don't happen that often, where you
don't have a repetitive learning experience and really need
trust, a lot of people still want to see the human person they
are dealing with," he said.
"That happens if you do a mortgage - you do a mortgage only
once or twice in your life - or it happens when you basically
want to invest significantly for your future, or you are a
UBS has high hopes for its core wealth management business,
as the unit's first-quarter turnaround helped the bank late last
month report its second-best start to a year since the financial
(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Mark Potter)