Swiss bank UBS is axing 5,500 jobs after revealing first-quarter losses of 11.5 billion Swiss francs (£5.5 billion).

The group said it will cut 2,600 jobs in its investment banking arm by the end of the year, with the remaining roles trimmed across the business by mid-2009.

It is unclear how many jobs will go in the UK, where UBS employs 9,000 staff including a small wealth management office in Birmingham.

Just under a third - 6,000 - of the group's investment banking team is in the UK, but it is understood the bulk of losses will affect UBS's US workforce.

UBS said redundancies would account for most of the investment banking job cuts, but hoped the wider reduction in roles would be achieved through turnover.

The bank has been one of the worst affected by the credit crunch, with the first-quarter net loss coming after a $19 billion (£9.6 billion) writedown in the first three months of the year.

It had already taken an $18.5 billion (£9.4 billion) charge from bad investments in last year's results, giving it writedowns of more than $37 billion (£19 billion) since last summer.

The first-quarter hit compares with a net profit of three billion Swiss francs (£1.4 billion) last year.

Switzerland's largest bank has been struggling to regain investor confidence, which has led shareholders to demand radical action.

UBS last month came under pressure from investor and former chief executive Luqman Arnold to break itself up. Shareholders approved the appointment of Peter Kurer to replace chairman Marcel Ospel.