Ailing Swiss bank UBS has revealed 8,700 jobs will be cut amid £1.18 billion first-quarter losses – but it is not known whether jobs will go in Birmingham.

The giant lender, which agreed a Swiss government bail-out last October, will cut staff levels from the current 76,200 in 50 countries to 67,500 in 2010.

A spokesman said it is not clear whether the cutbacks will affect its offices on Colmore Row, Birmingham. He added: “There is no break down at all at this stage. It is an ongoing process and we don’t comment on staff departures.”

UBS was heavily exposed to the complex mortgage-backed investments hit by the credit crunch and the latest losses reflect a further £2.3 billion write-down on its toxic assets.

The new cull comes just two months after UBS said it was cutting at least 2,000 more jobs, mostly from its troubled investment banking division.

Chief executive Oswald Grubel said: “We know where we have to set to work. It will be a long road back to success without any quick fixes.”

The news is a setback for the sector after better than expected results from US banks Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo in recent days.

UBS is planning to make savings of up to £2.36 billion to cope with the tough market conditions and lower levels of business.

The bank said the job cuts were “unfortunately unavoidable”. It will cut 2,500 jobs in Switzerland, and thousands more in the US.

UBS currently employs 7,000 people in the UK - mostly in London - but has refused to say how many jobs were at risk in this country.

Despite the latest losses UBS said it had a tier one capital ratio - a key measure of balance sheet strength - of around 10 per cent at the end of March. But UBS also said it saw a net £4.1 billion flow out of the bank during the first three months of 2009 from business customers.
This was seen mainly after it paid a fine of £525 million to US authorities in February to settle charges of assisting alleged tax fraud by some of its US clients.

UBS is also carrying out a review of the bank to reduce risk and exit “high risk and unpromising businesses”. At the height of the financial crisis last autumn, it transferred billions in toxic debts to a fund owned by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in an attempt to take the risk off its balance sheet.

The Birmingham Post revealed in August that directors of the UBS Wealth Management office oversaw a huge expansion at the Birmingham office.

It doubled its presence at Colmore Row by taking on eight staff from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Birmingham office.