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November 2, 2018

UBS to introduce hotline to handle sexual misconduct allegations

Swiss wealth manager UBS has decided to launch a confidential hotline for employees to report any form of sexual harassment.

The move comes after reports of an alleged rape of a trainee by a senior employee and its subsequent mishandling.

In an internal memo forwarded to its entire staff, the bank said that it will set up a confidential hotline to handle all such sexual misconduct allegations.

A UBS spokesperson confirmed sending the memo to Reuters. However, she declined to elaborate further.

Following the allegation by the female graduate, the bank initiated an independent review by a law firm on how the complaint was handled.

In the memo, the bank said that the review found that there was ‘no fundamental errors’ in its handling of the complaint.

”The independent review concluded that having considered all of the available evidence, there were no fundamental errors in the investigation process and that the investigation team sought to conduct the investigation fairly,” the memo said.

However, the memo also highlighted scope for improvement in handling such cases including expediting the investigation process.

UBS has also decided to provide special training to its staff involved in investigating allegations of molestation, rape and other such misconducts.

Last month, UBS reported a profit of CHF1.24bn in the third quarter of 2018, a jump of 32% compared to the previous year. The group’s operating income rose to CHF7.28bn from CHF7.14bn a year earlier.

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