Grübel said the result was due to losses on illiquid risk positions, credit loss expenses and writedowns on the assets transferred to the Swiss National Bank's Stabfund - a special-purpose vehicle created last October to absorb up to $39.1 billion of the firm's toxic US and European residential and commercial-backed securities, as well as other asset-backed securities on its balance sheet.
The bank's poor results for the first quarter follow a Sfr8.1 billion loss incurred in the final quarter of 2008, and a net loss of SFr20.9 billion for the full year.
UBS plans to save up to Sfr4 billion by the end of 2010 by reducing costs, most of which will come from cutting 8,300 of its 76,200 employees by the end of 2010.
On April 13, in contrast to the Swiss firm's disappointing start to 2009, US bank Goldman Sachs reported a first-quarter net profit of $1.81 billion, while on April 9 Wells Fargo announced an expected Q1 gain of approximately $3 billion. In addition, Bank of America, Citi, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank have all predicted profits for Q1, while analysts expect Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC and Morgan Stanley could also finish March in the black.