January 13, 2009 / 10:17 AM / 11 years ago

UBS closes Portuguese private banking operations

ZURICH, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS UBSN.VX(UBS.N) said on Tuesday it was closing its wealth management operations in Portugal just a year after opening them, in response to a worsening economic environment.

UBS started to offer private banking services in Portugal at the start of 2008 and had only four client advisors.

“UBS is undertaking steps to adapt to the fast changing financial and economic environment,” UBS said in an email statement. “The Portuguese domestic development was a natural development of a global expansive period, which is no longer the case. The fact that the level of development is very low should have little impact on our clients franchise.”

The Swiss bank, which was hard-hit by the financial crisis, is aggressively downsizing its investment banking activities, which dragged it in the red in 2008 as it concentrates on core wealth management activities.

Reporting by Elisabetta Jucca; editing by Simon Jessop

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