Elaborative SWOT Analysis of UBS – A Swiss Multinational Bank

Updated on: Mar 28, 2022
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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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Previously, we evaluated one of the leading global financial institutions, Wells Fargo. This time we will look at the SWOT analysis of UBS.

UBS, the Union Bank of Switzerland is a multinational diversified financial services company headquartered in Zurich and Basel. UBS swept 25 awards at Asia Money Awards and was awarded “Best Investment Bank” and “Best M&A Bank” at the Global Finance World’s Best Investment Banks 2017.

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Before we perform a detailed SWOT analysis of UBS for you in this blog, let’s first have a brief understanding of UBS.

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About UBS,

SWOT Analysis of UBS - UBS Bank

The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), a banking company, was founded in 1862 as the Bank in Winterthur. In 1912, the Bank of Winterthur collaborated with Toggenburger Bank to form the UBS. But UBS was solely created through the mergers between Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998.

UBS provides a complete set of banking services for individual, corporate and institutional clients. Apart from private banking, UBS also offers wealth management, asset management, and investment banking services to private, corporate and institutional clients with international service.

For more than 150 years, UBS has been working as a leading Swiss bank and that was one of the more than 370 financial firms that have, since 1862, become part of today’s UBS. It was made possible only by the talent, experience and drive of the over 70,000 employees handling approximately half of the world’s billionaires among its clients.

Quick Stats on UBS
Founder Hussain Bafayed al-Fayed
Year Founded 1998
Origin Winterthur, Switzerland
No. of Employees 71,500+
Company Type Public
Market Cap US$65.74 Billion (2022)
Annual Revenue US$36.032 Billion (2020)
Net Income/ Profit US$12.822 Billion (2020)


SWOT Analysis of UBS - UBS ATM

Products & Services by UBS

With providing unique customised investment solutions or insights on any particular themes, UBS also provides some notable products such as 

  • Liquidity Solutions & Cash Management
  • Lending Solutions (e.g. single stock loans, structured credit)
  • Financing (e.g. Real Estate)
  • Securities Lending
  • Tax & Regulatory Reporting

Competitors of UBS

UBS brings huge competition for itself, as it provides services in the whole world. Below mentioned are some of the competitors for UBS:

  • Rabobank
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Credit Suisse

Now that we already know the company’s core business, let’s dive into the SWOT Analysis of UBS.

SWOT Analysis of UBS

SWOT analysis of UBS is an examination of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This allows the organisation to understand its market position, as well as what areas need to be addressed and where it can shine. It also aids the corporation in strategizing its business framework and elements affecting its growth.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of UBS, refer to the infographics below:

SWOT Analysis of UBS - SWOT Infographics of UBS

Below is a step-by-step detailed guide to help you with the SWOT analysis of UBS.

Strengths of UBS

UBS, being one of the industry’s leading corporations, has several advantages that enable it to prosper in the marketplace. These advantages not only assist it in retaining market share in existing areas but also in expanding into new ones.

  • Position & Recognition: One of the biggest strengths of UBS is that the bank is the 3rd largest bank in Europe with a market capitalization of $61 billion followed by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. Also, UBS is considered a systematically important bank by the Financial Stability Board.
  • Awards: UBS is the leading provider of retail banking and commercial banking services in Switzerland. Also recently the bank was recognized as the World’s Best Bank for Wealth management for the 17th time in the Euromoney Global Awards for Excellence.
  • Extensive Network: The bank has more than 70,000 employees at 400+ branches in Switzerland & elsewhere worldwide, making UBS the largest bank and the largest financial institution in the world.
  • Social Media: Huge organisations are leveraging such tools to stay relevant and are seeking specialists for the same, so if you are interested in the field, check out our social media marketing course to get started.
  • Market Position: UBS is traditionally a joint-stock company and it nevertheless carries all major financial centres worldwide and an 85% to 90% market share in the financial sector in Switzerland. Throughout the years, the firm has also begun targeting small and medium-sized companies.
  • UBS Asset Management: With the strong provision of financial services, UBS also leads the position of wealth and asset management services, millions of people have tried and trusted the UBS Wealth Management services and that gives UBS a high net worth in the market.
  • Great Return on Capital Expenditure: UBS is fairly successful in the execution of new projects and building new revenue streams, which helps the company to earn a great return on capital expenditure.
  • Climate Strategy: UBS has recognised that our planet urgently needs drastic and lasting action to protect our businesses, communities, and natural environment from the damaging effects of climate change. Additionally, they have been accelerating innovation to scale up climate change solutions and building global partnerships so that investment is channelled towards sustainable projects.

Weakness of UBS

Weakness is the area where UBS can improve upon by building strategies. Below mentioned are the weakness of UBS:

  • Involvement in Controversies: UBS has been involved in numerous scandals, frauds and controversies that affect the reliability of the company. Customers may find it a little difficult to trust a company involved in controversies. 
  • Research and Development: Despite spending more than the industry average on research & development, UBS spends far less than preferred industry companies who have gained a major edge as a result of their unique products.
  • Organisation Structure: Organisation structure is only compatible with the present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.

Opportunities for UBS

Opportunities are external factors that can provide an organisation with a competitive advantage. Some opportunities that UBS can use for further expansion are 

  • Developments in Artificial Intelligence: UBS can use developments in artificial intelligence to better predict consumer demand, cater to niche segments, and make better recommendation engines.
  • Internet: The number of people who use the internet has increased all over the world. And UBS has started taking advantage of this opportunity to expand its online presence by interacting with its customers via e-commerce. So, if you also want to learn, check out our e-commerce management course & create your e-commerce website. 
  • Globalisation: UBS Banking is not limited to its own country as a result of increased globalisation. It can expand its operations to other countries, allowing it to enter these markets and take advantage of the opportunities that exist.
  • Population: The population has been increasing and will continue to do so in the coming years. This is beneficial to UBS since it increases the number of potential consumers it can target.
  • Tax Policy and Subsidy: The governments’ reduction in tax rate and subsidy announcement on the sale of environmentally friendly goods is beneficial for UBS as a lower amount would be expensed out as a tax and can focus on these environmentally friendly products to make use of this opportunity.

Threats to UBS

Threats are macro-environment factors and developments that can hinder the business model. Some of the threats which can derail UBS Group are 

  • New Entrants: There have been numerous players who have entered the market and are gaining market share by acquiring the market share of existing companies. This poses a risk to UBS because it may lose customers to these new entrants.
  • Technological Developments by Competitors: Customers attracted to new inventions by a few competitors within the industry constitute a threat to UBS, as customers drawn to this new technology may be lost to competitors, reducing UBS’s overall market share.
  • Exchange Rate: The exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, which affects a company like UBS, which has international sales but local suppliers.
  • Volatile Market: Consumer tastes are shifting, putting pressure on businesses to constantly adapt their products to meet the needs of these customers.
  • Changes in Laws and Regulations: Regulatory changes in the countries where UBS operates can threaten the company’s profitability.

This ends our elaborated SWOT analysis of UBS. Let us conclude our learnings below.

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To Conclude

UBS is a growing bank not only in Switzerland but in the entire world. They offer lots of services, innovative and useful to us in understanding what finance is about. Meanwhile, UBS underwent a decade of tremendous growth, primarily by autonomous expansion, while important overseas acquisitions were also made.

Also, with an increase in users’ online presence, the company can take advantage of digital marketing opportunities to grow and stand out in this massive market. In a changing landscape where digital marketing is of utmost importance, being well versed in the field is a must for all marketing enthusiasts. If you are interested in learning more and upskilling, check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course to know more.

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of UBS has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of UBS, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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