November 10, 2011 / 10:10 AM / 7 years ago

UBS to shut U.S. asset-backed securities unit: report

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS (UBS.N)UBSN.VX is shutting its asset-backed securities business in the United States, Swiss newspaper HandelsZeitung reported on Thursday without citing sources.

UBS declined to comment on the report.

The head of the business, Ken Cohen, was hired just six months ago to head the bank’s real-estate finance and commercial mortgage-backed securities business in the United States after stints with Lehman Brothers and G2 Investment Group.

His mandate was later extended to include other asset-backed securities.

Writedowns on the bank’s huge exposure to mortgage- and asset-backed securities pushed UBS to the biggest corporate loss in Swiss history in 2008 and forced it to accept a state bailout.

The HandelsZeitung report comes just a few days ahead of a key investor day in New York, at which UBS is expected to reveal a major overhaul of its beleaguered investment bank.

UBS was hit by a $2 billion trading scandal in September just as it was starting to recover from massive losses on subprime assets in the financial crisis.

Reporting by Katie Reid and Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by David Holmes

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