UBS set aside more for overall compensation while decreasing its headcount and bonus pool in 2010 under pressure from shareholders.
The Zurich-based bank decreased headcount by 0.9%, or 616, to 64,617 at year's end, according to its fourth quarter earnings.
UBS increased salaries and bonuses this year to 11.5 billion Swiss francs from 11 billion in 2009, an increase of 4.3%. The bonus pool at the bank, however, decreased by 10% to 4.32 billion Swiss francs ($4.53 billion) from 4.8 billion Swiss francs in 2009.
Aside from the bank's 6,800 financial advisors, average pay per employee was 198,872 Swiss francs in 2010 ($207, 043), up from 189,547 Swiss francs in 2009.
UBS reportedly caved to public pressure in decreasing the size of its bonus pool. It plans to defer 1.55 billion Swiss francs, or about one third, of bonuses.
The bank said in its earnings that "UBS's compensation model has been refined in conjunction with shareholder representatives and takes into account the guidance of [...] major international bank regulators."
For employees who earn total compensation more than 250,000 francs, 60% of their bonus in shares will be deferred over thee years. The bank also said a number of employees in the investment bank will be "subject to higher levels of deferrals."
The bank also announced yesterday that Sally Bott, member of the UBS board of directors who chairs the human resources and compensation committee, will not stand for re-election to the board in April. Whether her decision is related to the ongoing bonus pool delay issue at the bank is unclear.
Bank officials said that the investment bank, which has hired more than 1,700 employees over the past two years to rebuild the business after the financial crisis, will see upcoming changes.
UBS chief financial officer John Cryan told Bloomberg that the bank examined the various desks to "de-emphasize some businesses that look as though we can't make them profitable or they use too much capital for the profit potential."
The bank reported almost 32 billion Swiss francs in revenue for the full year 2010, up from 22.6 billion Swiss francs in 2009, a 41.5% increase. Fourth quarter revenues increased 17% to 7.12 billion Swiss francs, up from 6.09 billion Swiss francs in the year earlier period.
Write to Julie Steinberg