UBS gives employees COVID bonus of one week's pay, softens career exit

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at a branch office in Basel, Switzerland March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS is giving lower-ranking employees an extra week’s pay this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and adding a financial softener for employees looking to exit finance, the world’s largest wealth manager said on Tuesday.

“As a sign of appreciation for their contribution throughout this challenging year, and acknowledging that the pandemic may have resulted in unexpected financial impact, the Group Executive Board has decided to award UBS’s employees at less senior ranks with a one-time cash payment equivalent to one week’s salary,” the Swiss bank said in a statement announcing its third-quarter results, adding the measure would add roughly $30 million (23.2 million pounds) in expenses in the fourth quarter.

The bank also said it had modified its bonus policy so that eligible employees who wanted to make a career change under the strains and uncertainty of COVID-19, would be able to retain more deferred compensation than previously.

The new policy, instated in the third quarter, applied to voluntary leavers, excluding executives, it said.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by Louise Heavens