UBS Wealth Management Americas lost assets and advisers during the second quarter and was UBS AG's only unprofitable division, though it offered some signs that it was on the mend.
The brokerage, which does business in the United States and Canada, reported net withdrawals of 2.6 billion francs ($2.47 billion) over the quarter, excluding interest and dividends.
Still, that was an improvement from the 7.2 billion francs withdrawn by customers during the first quarter.
Client assets stood at 742 billion francs at the end of June, down 3 percent from the first quarter but up 1 percent from a year earlier.
It posted a pretax loss of 67 million francs, primarily due to restructuring charges of 146 million francs, 19 billion francs related to layoffs and the remainder due to the closure of branches.
Ignoring the charges, UBS said the business would have posted a pretax profit of 79 million francs, more than double the 36 million francs it earned in the first quarter.
The division lost a net 107 advisers, to finish the quarter with 6,760.
Revenue rose 9 percent to 1.5 billion francs, fueled by higher managed-account fees and interest income.
The parent company turned in a net profit of 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.90 billion), its third quarterly profit in a row after a string of big losses in 2008 and 2009. That was well above forecasts for 1.34 billion francs.
UBS Wealth Management Americas, led by CEO Robert McCann, said its wealth management headcount fell by 219 to 9,581 during the quarter, not including financial advisers. The brokerage force has shrunk by 15 percent over the past year.
UBS Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel said on Tuesday he remained committed to the business.
It will be a very profitable business going forward, he told Reuters. But first we have to bring it in shape. In the last few months we have solidified our niche. All along it is a good business to be in, even if it has high cost base.
(Additional reporting by Lisa Jucca in Zurich; Editing by Ted Kerr)