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US settlement increases UBS annual loss

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has adjusted its annual figures for 2008, posting a bigger loss than expected after a payout to United States justice authorities.

The bank's annual report published on Wednesday listed a net loss for the year of SFr20.9 billion ($17.95 billion), higher than the SFr19.7 billion presented in UBS's fourth quarter 2008 report on February 10.

Certain factors in the interim had affected the overall figures, the bank said in a statement, including an agreement to pay $780 million in fines to US officials as part of a probe into alleged tax fraud by American customers.

The annual report also took into account a revaluation by the Swiss National Bank of $7.8 billion of toxic assets, as yet not transferred by UBS to the central bank's holding fund.

The report also confirms additional contractual payments due to former top brass at UBS, who had waived their bonuses in light of the bank's ongoing financial struggles. SFr2.3 million has been awarded to ex-president Marcel Ospel, who retired in April 2008, while former vice-president Stephan Häringer has been allotted SFr3.9 million and the head of finance Marco Suter SFr3.8 million.

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