UBS has announced plans to invest $200m in fintech startups and other technology firms through the “UBS Next” portfolio.

UBS Next will target direct investments in early-stage fintech firms and other tech ventures.

As part of the development, the Swiss bank has entered into an alliance with venture capital firm Anthemis in a bid to ramp up investment opportunity identification and deal flow.

The Swiss bank will exclusively finance UBS Next and will run it with the help of a dedicated tech venture investment team.

UBS Next will look to support the bank’s priorities including co-development of digital ecosystem with the help of alliances, research and innovation pipeline management.

It will also aid the bank’s other priorities such as use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), public cloud, and microservices architecture, and evolve the bank’s business model to better engage with clients.

UBS head of Group Technology Mike Dargan said: “UBS Next is a further step to accelerate our innovation efforts as well as to identify and apply the latest technology for our client businesses.

“With our investments through close collaboration with Anthemis, we widen our access to fintech start-ups.”

In recent years, UBS has been continuously fortifying its technological expertise to enhance operational efficiency.

In August this year, the bank inked a multi-year contract with GitLab to enable its engineers develop in the cloud.

The collaboration offers the Swiss bank access to the cloud-based DevOps platform, which is said to help UBS speed up software development.

UBS also has partnerships with online financial adviser SigFig and Broadridge Financial Solutions in the US.

In 2018, UBS sold its UK digital advice business to SigFig.

Notably, a report in May this year said that UBS is looking to secure a licence in mainland China to launch its digital banking platform.