(Refiled to correct typographical error in first paragraph)
ZURICH Aug 18 Switzerland's biggest bank UBS
said it had expanded the number of employees that are
subject to internal background checks to around 15 percent of
its workforce in a move that came in the wake of numerous
Under the new policy, roughly 9,000 employees of the
Zurich-based bank will be subject to internal vetting, a
spokesman for UBS told Reuters, confirming a report on Monday by
Swiss finance website, Inside Paradeplatz.
UBS is beefing up policing of its employees as it grapples
with a probe into potential rigging of the global foreign
exchange market, including by the Securities and Exchange
Commission, U.S. justice officials, and Britain's Financial
The spokesman said UBS had already been vetting some current
employees but would not confirm how many. He said the expansion
was part of the bank's operational risk strategy.
Senior management, including managing directors, will
continue to be vetted. Under current checks, a larger number of
specialist staff members with access to sensitive information
will also be subject to criminal background checks, as well as
scrutiny of their credit rating, UBS said.
Inside Paradeplatz reported that employees were told last
Monday of the new system and that they have until Aug. 31 to
return the necessary documents.
Foreign exchange trading represents the latest in a series
of scandals at the Swiss bank, including a rogue trader which
cost UBS more than $2 billion in 2011.
Two years ago, UBS agreed to pay $1.5 billion bribery in
connection with efforts to rig benchmark interest rates, and
last year it paid $885 million to settle allegations it
misrepresented mortgage-backed bonds during the housing bubble.
The bank's share price fell in June following a research
report which said it could have to pay $8 billion in fines and
settlements relating to the alleged collusion and
price-manipulation in the global currency market.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Shadia Nasralla)