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UBS rolls out bonus for young bankers facing pandemic pressures

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS has introduced a new promotion bonus for junior investment bankers as part of measures it hopes will keep young staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic engaged and healthy.

Switzerland’s biggest bank, which is the world’s largest in wealth management, also said it was boosting recruitment to help lessen the workload for junior staff and adding programmes focused on physical and mental health.

“We know that maintaining your work-life balance is challenging given the demanding deal pipeline and existing remote working environment,” Global Banking co-heads Ros Lesperance and Javier Oficialdegui wrote in a memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by UBS.

The memo, which was earlier reported by Financial News, said the new bonus will be paid in addition to total compensation for entry-level investment bankers at UBS who are promoted to the bank’s next level of seniority.

Mental health issues in investment banking have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and banks have responded by rolling out additional help and measures for employees.

While they have been paying greater attention to wellbeing for several years, new initiatives ranging from free therapy to online yoga have proliferated during the pandemic.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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