(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG’s Asia-Pacific president signaled that most of the bank’s job cuts in the region are over as it nears the official completion of its historic merger with Credit Suisse Group AG. 

“We have optimized most of the positions both in terms of lines of business and the geography,” Edmund Koh, Asia Pacific president at UBS, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. UBS is present in 13 locations in Asia Pacific and “for most of that we are done,” he said.

The Swiss lender has been cutting thousands of staff following an emergency rescue of Credit Suisse last year in a government brokered deal. The takeover is due to close officially this week, according to Koh. 

“Staff attrition rate, both voluntary and involuntary, you know, was quite high,” said Koh at the UBS Investment Conference in Hong Kong.  “That’s because of duplication of roles that we have eliminated.”

UBS has retained the best of both teams and has added net new assets while client retention has been “very strong,” he said. 

Koh said the bank tries not to cut jobs, but roles are assessed every year based on productivity. On behalf of shareholders, it’s always right to swap for “better and more committed staff,” he said.

Clients have been putting money to work, investing in bonds, and the US market, while the China internet industry is “coming back,” said Koh.  

UBS, which runs the largest private bank in Asia with about $850 billion of assets, is rebuilding in markets such as India. “It’s a good market for us, but still early days in India, still a lot of heavy lifting to do,” said Koh. 

Zurich-based UBS returned to profit in the first quarter after two quarters of losses, cementing sustained progress in the integration of Credit Suisse after its rescue last year. 

(Updates with comment from Koh in sixth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the day of the interview.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.