Swiss banking giant


(UBS) - Get Report

said Wednesday Chairman Peter Kurer won't stand for re-election and Kaspar Villiger has been nominated as Kurer's successor.

Villiger served as a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1989 to 2003, and most recently as finance minister.

Kurer's resignation follows the announcement last week that UBS named Oswald Gruebel as its new group CEO, succeeding Marcel Rohner. Gruebel served as co-CEO and CEO of rival Credit Suisse from 2003 until 2007.

Kurer served as chairman for less than a year.

The company's annual meeting is April 15.

The changes at Switzerland's biggest bank come about as it was reported in February that net withdrawals at UBS reached 226 billion francs ($193 billion) in 2008, compared with inflows of 140.6 billion francs the previous year. The bank posted a full-year loss of 19.7 billion francs, the biggest in Swiss corporate history.

The bank also is involved in a dispute with U.S. tax collectors as they have slapped the bank with a lawsuit seeking the identities of tens of thousands of clients who kept billions of dollars in assets at the bank to dodge the IRS.

An official of UBS, Mark Branson, on Wednesday will face questions from a Senate panel for the first time since UBS acknowledged responsibility for helping its American clients hide assets from the U.S. government.

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