UBS chairman says overhaul may boost shareholder returns: report

BERLIN Sun Dec 2, 2012 10:50am EST

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BERLIN (Reuters) - UBS UBSN.VX may be able to improve shareholder returns quickly as the Swiss bank is reaping the benefits from radical restructuring, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday, citing Chairman Axel Weber.

"By means of our strategy (of taking the knife to investment banking operations) we are complying with new capital requirements much more quickly than others and can much sooner pay out dividends in a sustained manner," Weber was quoted as saying in an interview.

Weber, previously head of Germany's Bundesbank and a member of the European Central Bank's governing council, said new rules for capital resources and liquidity may radically change the landscape for investment banking.

"Especially for complex commercial transactions, the capital requirements will in future be so high that they (transactions) can no longer be conducted in a profitable manner," Weber told the magazine.

UBS is shifting its focus toward the bank's core private banking business for wealthy clients and away from the investment banking unit, which ran up $50 billion in subprime losses, forcing a Swiss government bailout in 2008.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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