November 1, 2018 / 3:11 PM / 17 days ago

UBS to ramp up training, set up sexual misconduct hotline

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) will expand training for staff investigating sexual misconduct claims, and introduce a confidential hotline to handle such allegations, an internal memo sent to staff seen by Reuters shows.

The changes follow a review conducted by law firm Freshfields into how UBS handled a former junior trader’s initial allegation that she was raped in September 2017 by a senior colleague.

The memo, signed by three senior UBS executives, said the Freshfields review had found the bank had not made any major 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,” it said.

A spokeswoman for UBS confirmed the contents of the memo and declined to comment further, while a spokeswoman for Freshfields declined to comment.

The former UBS employee who made the sexual assault allegation told Reuters she had no immediate comment.

The review did highlight “some areas for improvement and recommendations,” to support the bank’s zero tolerance policy on sexual misconduct, the UBS memo said.

As a result, UBS will introduce measures including the expanded training and a dedicated complaints hotline.

Reporting by Sinead Cruise, additional reporting by Emma Rumney, writing by Lawrence White, Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Alexander Smith

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