Date
13 November 2018
Chinese authorities are said to have called a visiting UBS wealth management executive for questioning for unknown reasons. Photo: Bloomberg
Chinese authorities are said to have called a visiting UBS wealth management executive for questioning for unknown reasons. Photo: Bloomberg

UBS warns staff over China travel after banker held: report

UBS Group has asked its China wealth management staff to reconsider their travel plans to the country after authorities there asked one of its bankers to delay her departure from Beijing to meet with local officials, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The banker, who is based in Singapore and works in the relationship management team in UBS’s wealth management unit, still has her passport, but was asked to remain in China and meet with local authority officials next week, the source was quoted as saying.

The identity and position of the banker were not known.

The purpose of the meeting with authorities is not clear, but the bank has asked others in its China wealth management team to review their travel plans carefully, the report said.

No other units in the bank, including back office or asset management teams, have been asked to re-consider existing travel plans. 

UBS is the largest wealth manager operating in Asia, managing assets worth an estimated US$383 billion.

The Swiss banking group has been building up its presence in China.

Last week it moved a step closer to becoming the first bank to take majority ownership of its China joint venture under new rules designed to open up the sector, when two of its current partners put their stakes up for sale.

Any deal on the stakes will need the approval of Chinese authorities, who are yet to give the green light for the 51 percent shareholding, the report noted.

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