UBS bonus package agreed in principle after bank bailout

UBS has reached a preliminary agreement to pay employees a bonus for 2008 following discussions with the Swiss financial regulator Finma.

The bank is now obliged to seek Finma’s consent to pay bonuses after it was bailed out by the Swiss government last autumn.

A spokesman for the bank described estimates that the bonus package for its 77,000 employees is worth $1bn, as “pure speculation.” However, the precise amount is expected to be disclosed in the firm’s fourth quarter results, to be published on 10 February.

UBS’s most senior employees are not included in this pool after the bank announced in December 2008 that the chairman of the board and the group executive board would not receive any variable compensation for 2008.