Shareholder fury as UBS backs bonuses

THE chairman of UBS defended the bank's increased bonuses yesterday, but shareholders vented their anger by rejecting a proposal to absolve former executives of responsibility for a US tax evasion fiasco and billions of dollars in losses.

Kaspar Villiger told shareholders that UBS had lost entire investment teams and their clients to rival banks in 2009 after cutting back too much on bonus payments. The higher bonuses are needed to ensure competitiveness, he stressed.

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"Many of our best people are still being recruited by head hunters and competitors," Villiger said.