Andrea Orcel, head of UBS Group AG’s securities unit, said tougher financial regulation and negative interest rates are sapping global confidence as investors question investment banks’ ability to earn money.
The U.S. election, Britain’s referendum on European Union membership, Russian sanctions and the migrant crisis are among factors that put “everyone in a position of wait and see,” Orcel said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker in New York on Friday. “The pressure has never been as high to reshape our model to something that can hold water and convince our shareholders that it’s worthwhile investing in us.”
The world’s largest investment banks have seen declining revenue, hurt by record-low interest-rates, plunging oil prices and cooling emerging markets. While UBS pivoted its strategy toward wealth management in 2012, shrinking the securities business and eliminating thousands of jobs to shore up profitability, the shares have lost about a quarter of their value this year amid a wider selloff among European investment banks.