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Swiss-Based UBS Sinks Its Claws Into Bankers’ Bonuses

The Swiss bank UBS — last seen by The New York Times supposedly donating to Republicans to avoid regulation — is doing something more in line with President Obama’s calls to limit executive bonuses when companies fare poorly. UBS, which posted a $2.56 billion loss in 2009, is taking back the $282 in deferred bonuses it gave senior executives after its $19.9 billion loss in 2008.

The Swiss government bailed UBS out with a $5.6 billion investment, since recouped with a profit, but UBS failed to regain profitability in 2009. It did manage to post its first profit in more than a year in the first quarter of its fiscal year, due to a tax credit from the government.

In contrast to all the whining in the States among bankers subject to executive compensation caps because they’re still running off American taxpayers’ largesse, UBS doesn’t expect its bankers to write editorials threatening to quit because their failure to turn a profit doesn’t net them bonus pay.

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