Blog: ISDA publishes documents on trading of digital asset derivatives … – Financial Regulation News

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a new standard documentation for trading digital asset derivatives last week.

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The ISDA Digital Asset Derivatives Definitions are intended to bring greater clarity to this asset class by creating an unambiguous contractual framework for digital asset derivatives. The definitions initially cover non-deliverable forwards and options on Bitcoin and Ether but could be expanded in the future to cover additional product types, including tokenized securities and other digital assets executed on distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Further, the definitions have been created using a controlled language structure to define the processes contained in the document, facilitating integration with the Common Domain Model and automation within smart contracts.

“Recent failures in the crypto market have emphasized the importance of having a clear, consistent contractual framework that spells out the rights and obligations of both parties following a default. All customers, whether retail or institutional, should know their assets are protected and understand their rights in the event of a default. This latest work to establish legal definitions and recommend improved customer protection in bankruptcy through the application of a consistent set of global contractual standards adds to the extensive work ISDA has already published to bring greater legal and operational certainty to digital assets executed on both centralized and decentralized platforms,” Scott O’Malia, ISDA’s chief executive, said.

The organization also released a new whitepaper that addresses some of the legal issues raised by the recent bankruptcies of major crypto exchanges and market participants.

The paper, entitled Navigating Bankruptcy in Digital Asset Markets: Netting and Collateral Enforceability, is the first of two publications that explore legal questions raised by the collapse of FTX and others. This paper focuses on the importance of close-out netting and collateral arrangements for derivatives referencing digital assets. It also identifies several focus areas for policymakers and market participants to ensure greater certainty, including using standardized contractual frameworks like the ISDA Digital Asset Derivatives Definitions and further legal clarity from national authorities on the property status of digital assets.

The second paper, which will be published later in the first quarter of 2023, will focus on issues related to customer assets held with intermediaries.

Blog: NCUA Board addresses interest rate ceiling, performance plan … – Financial Regulation News

During its first open meeting of 2023, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board extended the 18-percent federal credit union loan interest rate ceiling and approved the Annual Performance Plan.

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The extension is through Sept. 10, 2024 – with NCUA Board Chairman Todd M. Harper maintaining that adjusting the maximum loan rate higher would place additional burdens on credit union member budgets already stressed by inflation and tighter credit conditions.

“The credit union system’s statutory mission is to support the saving and credit needs of all Americans, especially people of modest means, so that is yet another reason why the maximum interest rate on loans should not be raised at this time,” Harper said. “Keeping in place the current maximum interest rate on federal credit union loans for another 18 months is prudent and grounded in sound reasoning.”

Per the NCUA, the 18-percent cap applies to all federal credit union lending, except originations made under NCUA’s payday alternative loan program, which are capped at 28 percent.

The NCUA’s 2023 Annual Performance Plan provides specific direction and guidance regarding the mission, strategic goals, and objectives outlined in the agency’s 2022–2026 Strategic Plan.

“This year, the NCUA will pay particular attention to liquidity risk, interest rate risk, and credit risk, as noted in the agency’s recently announced 2023 supervisory priorities,” Harper said. “And, the agency will once again focus on ever-present cybersecurity threats, not only within credit unions but also within the broader financial system. The implementation of this plan will contribute to our success in addressing these risks.”

Blog: Bill seeks to create tax code parity for small businesses – Financial … – Financial Regulation News

U.S. Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) recently introduced the Small Business Tax Fairness and Compliance Simplification Act (S. 45), which seeks to establish small business tax code parity.

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The legislation specifically seeks to empower hundreds of beauty services providers by expanding the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax tip credit to enable the businesses to be treated similarly to the equally tip-dependent food and beverage industry.

“Entrepreneurs in the rapidly growing beauty services industry are responsible for employing more than 1.3 million hard-working Americans,” Scott said. “This critical tax code modernization effort will benefit small businesses, such as salons and barbershops, simply by creating a level playing field. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to make it easier for these small business owners and their employees to create wealth and make their American Dream a reality.”

The lawmakers maintain that 80 percent of the 1.2 million establishments providing beauty services have 10 or fewer employees, most of which are owned and operated by women and minorities.

“Workers in the beauty services industry are as reliant on tips as food and beverage workers, and it is time for the tax code to catch up,” Cardin said. “I am proud to introduce this bill with Sen. Scott to modernize the tax code so local barbershops, nail salons, and other beauty service establishments can grow their businesses and create jobs in Maryland and across the country. These salons provide a reliable path to the middle class for women and minorities across the country, and they deserve parity in our tax code.”

Blog: UBS AG UK Regulatory Announcement: UBS: 2022 net profit of USD … – Business Wire

ZURICH, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 

UBS: (NYSE:UBS) (SWX:UBSN):

UBS’s 4Q22 results materials are available at ubs.com/investors – The audio webcast of the earnings call starts at 09:00 CET, 31 January 2023

A definition of each alternative performance measure, the method used to calculate it and the information content are presented under “Alternative performance measures” in the appendix to our 4Q22 report.

Group highlights

  • Strong momentum with our clients in challenging markets

    In 2022, the combined impact of persistent inflation, rapid central bank tightening, the Russia–Ukraine war, and other geopolitical tensions affected asset pricing levels and investor sentiment. Our unwavering commitment to our clients enabled us to maintain positive momentum across the firm. Against this backdrop, we attracted USD 60bn in net new fee-generating assets1 in GWM for the full year, USD 25bn of net new money in AM (of which USD 26bn in Money Market), and CHF 2bn of net new investment products for Personal Banking, an 8% growth rate. As clients repositioned their investments in response to interest rate increases, we captured demand for higher yield through our savings products, certificates of deposit and money market funds. And we delivered a 17% YoY increase in net interest income across GWM and P&C in 2022. While private clients generally remained on the sidelines throughout the year due to high uncertainty and unfavorable market trends, institutional clients were very active, driven by sustained equity market volatility in 1H22, and by strong FX and rates markets in 2H22.

    In Americas, for the full year, GWM attracted net new fee-generating assets1 of USD 17bn, and we closed the year with another strong quarter in advisor recruiting. We continued to see positive momentum in Private Markets, which attracted USD 10bn net new commitments, and in our SMA2 offering, which contributed USD 21bn of net new money in AM.

    In Switzerland, we retained our position as #1 bank3. In 2022, we saw USD 7bn net new loans and USD 9bn net new deposits in GWM and P&C combined, contributing to record loan and deposit volumes, and we attracted USD 9bn net new fee-generating assets1.

    In EMEA, we generated USD 20bn of net new fee-generating assets1 and we completed the sale of our domestic wealth management business in Spain, which further optimizes our footprint. In the IB, our Global Markets business had its best year on record, and we outperformed the fee pool in Global Banking.

    In APAC, we attracted USD 14bn of net new fee-generating assets1 for the year, and we were #1 in equity capital markets4 for non-domestic banks. We also delivered the best M&A year on record5, and were recently named the best Investment Bank6 in Asia and Australia by Finance Asia.

    We continued to improve the way we manage, change and develop technology, and we have been fostering our engineering culture. For instance, 65% of our applications are currently on the Cloud, and engineers make up 68% of the technology teams that have transitioned to Agile. We achieved this while remaining disciplined on costs, progressing our cost-saving program as planned and investing in our growth initiatives.

  • Executing on our strategy and achieved our Group targets in 2022

    In 2022, we remained focused on executing our strategy, and delivered a return on CET1 capital of 17.0% and a cost/income ratio of 72.1%, in line with our Group targets. PBT was USD 9,604m (up 1% YoY). Total revenues decreased 2% YoY, with operating expenses down 4%. Net profit attributable to shareholders was USD 7,630m (up 2% YoY), with diluted earnings per share of USD 2.25.

    4Q22 PBT was USD 1,937m (up 12% YoY). Total revenues were down 8% YoY, while operating expenses decreased 13%. The cost/income ratio was 75.8%. Net profit attributable to shareholders was USD 1,653m (up 23% YoY), with diluted earnings per share of USD 0.50. The return on CET1 capital was 14.7%. We repurchased USD 1.3bn of shares in 4Q22.

  • Positioned to fund growth and deliver strong capital returns in 2023

    We maintained a strong capital position, ending the year with a CET1 capital ratio of 14.2% and a CET1 leverage ratio of 4.42%, both significantly in excess of our guidance of ~13% and >3.7%, respectively. Our balance sheet remains strong, with a high-quality loan book where 95% of our loans7 are collateralized, and with an average LTV of less than 55%.

    For the financial year 2022, we intend to propose an ordinary dividend of USD 0.55 per share8. We repurchased USD 5.6bn of shares in 2022, and we expect to repurchase more than USD 5bn of shares during 2023. Our highly accretive, capital-light business model, with a balance sheet for all seasons and disciplined cost management, position us well to continue executing our growth strategy and deliver strong capital returns, while weathering the challenges of the current macroeconomic environment.

1In GWM; net new fee-generating assets exclude the effects on fee-generating assets of strategic decisions by UBS to exit markets or services. 2Separately managed accounts. 3 Euromoney, 2022. 4Dealogic. 52017–2022. 6 Finance Asia, December 2022. 7 Loans and advances to customers. 8Shareholders whose shares are held through SIX (ISIN CH0244767585) will receive dividends in Swiss francs, based on a published exchange rate calculated to five decimal places immediately before the ex-dividend date. Shareholders holding shares through DTC (ISIN: CH0244767585; CUSIP: H42097107) will be paid dividends in US dollars. Subject to approval by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 5 April 2023, the dividend will be paid on 14 April 2023 to shareholders of record on 13 April 2023. The ex-dividend date will be 12 April 2023. In accordance with Swiss tax law, 50% of the dividend will be paid out of retained earnings and the balance will be paid out of capital contribution reserves. Dividends paid out of capital contribution reserves are not subject to Swiss withholding tax. The portion of the dividend paid out of retained earnings will be subject to a 35% Swiss withholding tax. For US federal income tax purposes, we expect that the dividend will be paid out of current or accumulated earnings and profits.

Ralph Hamers, UBS’s Group CEO

“We remained close to our clients and provided them with best-in-class advice, bespoke services, and seamless solutions resulting in net new fee-generating assets of USD 60bn for the full year and USD 23bn in the fourth quarter. This was accomplished in a year marked by a challenging macroeconomic environment, persistent inflation, rapid central bank tightening, the Russia–Ukraine war, the impact of COVID in China, and other geopolitical tensions.

We continue to execute our strategy to capture growth. In the US and in APAC, we are strengthening our OneBank approach for our core wealth and Global Family and Institutional Wealth clients. In the US, we have 20% of the Barron’s top 100 PWM teams and we recruited high-quality advisors in the second half of the year. In EMEA, we maintained our momentum with clients and targeted growth opportunities across Europe and the Middle East. And in Switzerland, we remained the undisputed market leader and finished the year with record loan and deposit volumes.

Our commitment to serving our clients and the disciplined execution of our strategy led to good results this year. We delivered on our Group targets and are confident in our ability to do so in 2023. We repurchased USD 5.6bn of shares in 2022 and are increasing our dividend by 10% YoY to USD 0.55 per share, for a total capital return of USD 7.3bn.

We are starting 2023 from a position of strength. While the macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, our operational resilience, capital strength and capital generation put us in a great position to serve our clients, fund growth and deliver strong capital returns to shareholders. We remain committed to a progressive dividend and expect to repurchase more than USD 5bn of shares in 2023.”

Fourth quarter 2022 performance overview – Group

Group

4Q22

 

 

 

 

FY22

Targets/guidance

Return on CET1 capital

14.7%

 

 

 

 

17.0%

15–18%

Return on tangible equity

13.2%

 

 

 

 

14.9%

 

Cost/income ratio

75.8%

 

 

 

 

72.1%

70–73%

Net profit attributable to shareholders

USD 1.7bn

 

 

 

 

USD 7.6bn

 

CET1 capital ratio

14.2%

 

 

 

 

14.2%

~13%

CET1 leverage ratio

4.42%

 

 

 

 

4.42%

>3.7%

Tangible book value per share

USD 16.28

 

 

 

 

USD 16.28

 

Buybacks

USD 1.3bn

 

 

 

 

USD 5.6bn

USD ~5.5bn in FY22

Group PBT USD 1,937m, +12% YoY

PBT was USD 1,937m, including net credit loss expense of USD 7m. The cost/income ratio was 75.8%, 4.7 percentage points lower YoY. Total revenues were down 8% YoY, while operating expenses decreased 13%, largely as 4Q21 included USD 740m related to litigation provisions for the French cross-border matter. Excluding these litigation provisions, operating expenses would have decreased 3% and PBT would have declined 22%. Net profit attributable to shareholders was USD 1,653m (up 23% YoY), with diluted earnings per share of USD 0.50. Return on CET1 capital was 14.7%.

Fourth quarter 2022 performance overview – Business Divisions and Group Functions

Global Wealth Management

4Q22

FY22

Targets/guidance

Profit before tax

USD 1.1bn

USD 5.0bn

 

PBT growth

+88% YoY

+4% YoY

10–15% over the cycle

Invested assets

USD 2.8trn

USD 2.8trn

 

Net new fee-generating assets1

USD 23.3bn

USD 60.1bn

 

 

 

 

 

Personal & Corporate Banking

 

 

 

Profit before tax

CHF 0.5bn

CHF 1.7bn

 

Return on attributed equity (CHF)

22%

20%

 

Net new investment products for Personal Banking

CHF 0.1bn

CHF 2.0bn

 

 

 

 

 

Asset Management

 

 

 

Profit before tax

USD 0.1bn

USD 1.4bn

 

Invested assets

USD 1.1trn

USD 1.1trn

 

Net new money

USD 10.8bn

USD 24.8bn

 

Net new money excl. money markets

USD (5.6)bn

USD (1.6)bn

 

 

 

 

 

Investment Bank

 

 

 

Profit before tax

USD 0.1bn

USD 1.9bn

 

Return on attributed equity

4%

15%

 

RWA and LRD vs. Group

29% / 31%

29% / 31%

Up to 1/3

Global Wealth Management (GWM) PBT USD 1,058m, +88% YoY

Total revenues decreased 5% YoY to USD 4,601m, which included a USD 41m gain from the sale of our US alternative investments administration business. Net interest income increased 35%, mainly due to an increase in deposit revenues, as rising interest rates led to higher deposit margins. This increase was partly offset by the effects of shifts to lower-margin products and higher interest rates paid to clients, as well as a decrease in average deposit volumes. Recurring net fee income decreased 17%, primarily driven by negative market performance and foreign currency effects, partly offset by incremental revenues from net new fee-generating assets1. Transaction-based income decreased 19%, mainly driven by lower levels of client activity. Net credit loss expenses were USD 3m, compared with net releases of USD 2m in 4Q21. Operating expenses were down 17%, primarily due to 4Q21 including USD 657m in litigation provisions for the French cross-border matter. 4Q22 included lower personnel expenses, primarily as a result of lower financial advisor variable compensation following a decrease in compensable revenues, and benefited from positive foreign currency effects. The cost/income ratio was 76.9%, down 11.4 percentage points YoY. Fee-generating assets were up 8% sequentially to USD 1,271bn. Net new fee-generating assets1 were USD 23.3bn.

Personal & Corporate Banking (P&C) PBT CHF 504m, +51% YoY

Total revenues increased 10% YoY. Net interest income increased 21%, mainly driven by higher deposit margins, as a result of rising interest rates, and higher loan revenues, partly offset by lower deposit fees. 4Q21 included a benefit from the Swiss National Bank deposit exemption. Recurring net fee income decreased 6%, mostly driven by lower custody fees from investment fund, custody and mandate assets, reflecting negative market performance. Transaction-based income decreased 1%, mainly reflecting lower brokerage fees. Net credit loss releases were CHF 3m, compared with net releases of CHF 9m in 4Q21. Operating expenses decreased 12%, mainly due to 4Q21 including a CHF 76m (USD 83m) increase in litigation provisions for the French cross-border matter. The cost/income ratio was 53.6%, 13.4 percentage points lower YoY.

Asset Management (AM) PBT USD 124m, (63%) YoY

Total revenues were down 31% YoY. Net management fees decreased 25%, mostly reflecting negative market performance and foreign currency effects. 4Q21 included a one-time effect of USD 35m that resulted from a change in the fee accrual methodology for Swiss investment fund fees. Performance fees decreased by USD 70m, mainly in Hedge Fund Businesses. Operating expenses decreased 4%, mainly reflecting lower personnel expenses, which included positive foreign currency effects. The cost/income ratio was 75.1%, 21.5 percentage points higher YoY. Invested assets increased by 9% sequentially to USD 1,064bn. Net new money was USD 10.8bn (negative USD 5.6bn excluding money market flows).

Investment Bank (IB) PBT USD 112m, (84%) YoY

Total revenues decreased 24%. Global Markets revenues decreased USD 172m, or 11%, primarily due to lower Derivatives & Solutions and Execution Services revenues. Global Banking revenues decreased by USD 365m, or 52%, primarily driven by lower Capital Markets revenues. Operating expenses increased 3%, mainly driven by variable compensation expenses above the lower level of variable compensation expenses in 4Q21, partly offset by positive foreign currency effects. The cost/income ratio was 92.9%, 24.3 percentage points higher YoY. Return on attributed equity was 3.5%.

Group Functions PBT USD 114m, compared with USD (246)m in 4Q21

Extending UBS’s leadership in sustainability

Sustainability has long been a firm-wide priority at UBS. We aim to offer solutions to help private and institutional clients meet their investment objectives, including through sustainable finance. In addition, we want to be the provider of choice for clients who wish to mobilize capital toward the achievement of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Top-ranked in key sustainability ratings

In the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, UBS again ranks as one of the leading firms in the diversified financial services sector. Our MSCI ESG rating remained unchanged at AA. We again secured a place on CDP’s climate ”A List”. Sustainalytics assessed UBS to have a low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors, an improvement from last year’s rating.

In the fourth quarter, we announced the launch of our new Sustainability and Impact Forum, with the appointment of its first four members. The forum will bring together leaders with broad perspectives to further the cross-industry debate on the most critical sustainable finance issues facing the world today.

Facilitating the low-carbon transition

We are a founding member and shareholder of Carbonplace. Its blockchain-based technology will allow the simultaneous settlement of carbon credits and immediate transfer of ownership upon payment, making the transfer process traceable and the records of ownership reliable. Commercial launch of the platform is expected in 2023.

The “Low Carbon Transition” building block for UBS Manage Advanced [My Way] mandates enables clients to position their assets for the net-zero carbon transition via a mix of ESG leaders and ESG thematic strategies. This is the first sustainable investing building block with an explicit focus on climate transition related risks and opportunities.

Our Energy Storage Fund acquired a second portfolio of projects in Texas, doubling the size of the ESIF portfolio from 740MW to over 1500MW and representing USD 525m of deployable capital. Our Clean Energy Infrastructure investment solution – CEIS 3, a joint initiative with Swiss Life Asset Managers – achieved its first close, with institutional investors committing to a total of CHF 772m. Finally, we priced a highly successful inaugural sovereign green bond for New Zealand, raising NZD 3bn.

Supporting relief and philanthropy efforts

As of 31 December 2022, the Ukraine Relief Fund had disbursed over half of the USD 56m committed by clients, employees, UBS and our strategic partner XTX Markets for relief and recovery efforts in response to the Russia–Ukraine war. The fund is supporting more than 25 organizations and their local partners in Ukraine and the neighboring countries of Poland, Moldova and Romania. These organizations include the International Rescue Committee and its partners, which had reached more than 72,000 families with emergency cash support, and project HOPE, which had treated 26,000 people through mobile medical units, as of the end of December 2022.

UBS Optimus Foundation announced the launch of its Australian chapter to meet growing local demand for philanthropy. This is the Foundation’s eighth office worldwide and fourth in the Asia Pacific region, preceded by chapters in the Hong Kong SAR, Beijing, and Singapore. The Foundation supports over 320 programs across 60 countries.

Information in this news release is presented for UBS Group AG on a consolidated basis unless otherwise specified. Financial information for UBS AG (consolidated) does not differ materially from UBS Group AG (consolidated) and a comparison between UBS Group AG (consolidated) and UBS AG (consolidated) is provided at the end of this news release.

1In GWM; net new fee-generating assets exclude the effects on fee-generating assets of strategic decisions by UBS to exit markets or services.

Our key figures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of or for the quarter ended

 

As of or for the year ended

USD m, except where indicated

 

31.12.22

30.9.22

31.12.21

 

31.12.22

31.12.21

Group results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

8,029

8,236

8,705

 

34,563

35,393

Credit loss expense / (release)

 

7

(3)

(27)

 

29

(148)

Operating expenses

 

6,085

5,916

7,003

 

24,930

26,058

Operating profit / (loss) before tax

 

1,937

2,323

1,729

 

9,604

9,484

Net profit / (loss) attributable to shareholders

 

1,653

1,733

1,348

 

7,630

7,457

Diluted earnings per share (USD)1

 

0.50

0.52

0.38

 

2.25

2.06

Profitability and growth2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return on equity (%)

 

11.7

12.3

8.9

 

13.3

12.6

Return on tangible equity (%)

 

13.2

13.9

10.0

 

14.9

14.1

Return on common equity tier 1 capital (%)

 

14.7

15.5

11.9

 

17.0

17.5

Return on leverage ratio denominator, gross (%)

 

3.2

3.3

3.3

 

3.3

3.4

Cost / income ratio (%)

 

75.8

71.8

80.5

 

72.1

73.6

Effective tax rate (%)

 

14.5

25.0

21.4

 

20.2

21.1

Net profit growth (%)

 

22.6

(24.0)

(17.6)

 

2.3

13.7

Resources2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

1,104,364

1,111,753

1,117,182

 

1,104,364

1,117,182

Equity attributable to shareholders

 

56,876

55,756

60,662

 

56,876

60,662

Common equity tier 1 capital3

 

45,457

44,664

45,281

 

45,457

45,281

Risk-weighted assets3

 

319,585

310,615

302,209

 

319,585

302,209

Common equity tier 1 capital ratio (%)3

 

14.2

14.4

15.0

 

14.2

15.0

Going concern capital ratio (%)3

 

18.2

19.1

20.0

 

18.2

20.0

Total loss-absorbing capacity ratio (%)3

 

33.0

33.7

34.7

 

33.0

34.7

Leverage ratio denominator3

 

1,028,461

989,787

1,068,862

 

1,028,461

1,068,862

Common equity tier 1 leverage ratio (%)3

 

4.42

4.51

4.24

 

4.42

4.24

Liquidity coverage ratio (%)

 

163.7

162.7

155.5

 

163.7

155.5

Net stable funding ratio (%)

 

119.8

120.4

118.5

 

119.8

118.5

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invested assets (USD bn)4

 

3,957

3,706

4,596

 

3,957

4,596

Personnel (full-time equivalents)

 

72,597

72,009

71,385

 

72,597

71,385

Market capitalization1

 

57,848

46,674

61,230

 

57,848

61,230

Total book value per share (USD)1

 

18.30

17.52

17.84

 

18.30

17.84

Tangible book value per share (USD)1

 

16.28

15.57

15.97

 

16.28

15.97

1 Refer to the “Share information and earnings per share” section of the UBS Group fourth quarter 2022 report for more information. 2 Refer to the “Targets, aspirations and capital guidance” section of our Annual Report 2021 for more information about our performance targets. 3 Based on the Swiss systemically relevant bank framework as of 1 January 2020. Refer to the “Capital management” section of the UBS Group fourth quarter 2022 report for more information. 4 Consists of invested assets for Global Wealth Management, Asset Management and Personal & Corporate Banking. Refer to “Note 32 Invested assets and net new money” in the “Consolidated financial statements” section of our Annual Report 2021 for more information.

 

Income statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the quarter ended

 

% change from

 

For the year ended

USD m

 

31.12.22

30.9.22

31.12.21

 

3Q22

4Q21

 

31.12.22

31.12.21

Net interest income

 

1,589

1,596

1,770

 

(0)

(10)

 

6,621

6,705

Other net income from financial instruments measured at fair value through profit or loss

 

1,876

1,796

1,365

 

4

37

 

7,517

5,850

Net fee and commission income

 

4,359

4,481

5,529

 

(3)

(21)

 

18,966

22,387

Other income

 

206

363

40

 

(43)

415

 

1,459

452

Total revenues

 

8,029

8,236

8,705

 

(3)

(8)

 

34,563

35,393

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit loss expense / (release)

 

7

(3)

(27)

 

 

 

 

29

(148)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personnel expenses

 

4,122

4,216

4,216

 

(2)

(2)

 

17,680

18,387

General and administrative expenses

 

1,420

1,192

2,212

 

19

(36)

 

5,189

5,553

Depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets

 

543

508

574

 

7

(5)

 

2,061

2,118

Operating expenses

 

6,085

5,916

7,003

 

3

(13)

 

24,930

26,058

Operating profit / (loss) before tax

 

1,937

2,323

1,729

 

(17)

12

 

9,604

9,484

Tax expense / (benefit)

 

280

580

370

 

(52)

(24)

 

1,942

1,998

Net profit / (loss)

 

1,657

1,742

1,359

 

(5)

22

 

7,661

7,486

Net profit / (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests

 

4

9

11

 

(60)

(65)

 

32

29

Net profit / (loss) attributable to shareholders

 

1,653

1,733

1,348

 

(5)

23

 

7,630

7,457

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income

 

2,208

(48)

1,178

 

 

87

 

3,167

5,119

Total comprehensive income attributable to non-controlling interests

 

17

(8)

7

 

 

137

 

18

13

Total comprehensive income attributable to shareholders

 

2,190

(40)

1,171

 

 

87

 

3,149

5,106

 

Comparison between UBS Group AG consolidated and

UBS AG consolidated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of or for the quarter ended 31.12.22

 

As of or for the quarter ended 30.9.22

 

As of or for the quarter ended 31.12.21

USD m, except where indicated

 

UBS Group

AG

consolidated

UBS AG

consolidated

Difference

(absolute)

 

UBS Group

AG

consolidated

UBS AG

consolidated

Difference

(absolute)

 

UBS Group

AG

consolidated

UBS AG

consolidated

Difference

(absolute)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

8,029

8,078

(49)

 

8,236

8,308

(73)

 

8,705

8,819

(114)

Credit loss expense / (release)

 

7

7

0

 

(3)

(3)

0

 

(27)

(27)

0

Operating expenses

 

6,085

6,282

(198)

 

5,916

6,152

(236)

 

7,003

7,227

(224)

Operating profit / (loss) before tax

 

1,937

1,788

148

 

2,323

2,159

164

 

1,729

1,619

109

of which: Global Wealth Management

 

1,058

1,047

11

 

1,453

1,434

18

 

563

541

22

of which: Personal & Corporate Banking

 

529

525

4

 

442

437

5

 

365

362

3

of which: Asset Management

 

124

122

2

 

140

139

1

 

334

328

6

of which: Investment Bank

 

112

108

4

 

447

436

11

 

713

710

3

of which: Group Functions

 

114

(13)

127

 

(158)

(287)

129

 

(246)

(321)

75

Net profit / (loss)

 

1,657

1,522

135

 

1,742

1,608

135

 

1,359

1,266

93

of which: net profit / (loss) attributable to shareholders

 

1,653

1,518

135

 

1,733

1,598

135

 

1,348

1,255

93

of which: net profit / (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests

 

4

4

0

 

9

9

0

 

11

11

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of comprehensive income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income

 

551

499

52

 

(1,791)

(1,753)

(38)

 

(181)

(197)

16

of which: attributable to shareholders

 

538

485

52

 

(1,773)

(1,735)

(38)

 

(177)

(194)

16

of which: attributable to non-controlling interests

 

13

13

0

 

(17)

(17)

0

 

(4)

(4)

0

Total comprehensive income

 

2,208

2,020

187

 

(48)

(145)

97

 

1,178

1,069

109

of which: attributable to shareholders

 

2,190

2,003

187

 

(40)

(137)

97

 

1,171

1,062

109

of which: attributable to non-controlling interests

 

17

17

0

 

(8)

(8)

0

 

7

7

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

1,104,364

1,105,436

(1,072)

 

1,111,753

1,111,926

(172)

 

1,117,182

1,116,145

1,037

Total liabilities

 

1,047,146

1,048,496

(1,349)

 

1,055,666

1,056,985

(1,319)

 

1,056,180

1,057,702

(1,522)

Total equity

 

57,218

56,940

278

 

56,087

54,941

1,146

 

61,002

58,442

2,559

of which: equity attributable to shareholders

 

56,876

56,598

278

 

55,756

54,610

1,146

 

60,662

58,102

2,559

of which: equity attributable to non-controlling interests

 

342

342

0

 

330

330

0

 

340

340

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common equity tier 1 capital

 

45,457

42,929

2,528

 

44,664

42,064

2,600

 

45,281

41,594

3,687

Going concern capital

 

58,321

54,770

3,551

 

59,359

55,733

3,626

 

60,488

55,434

5,054

Risk-weighted assets

 

319,585

317,823

1,762

 

310,615

308,571

2,044

 

302,209

299,005

3,204

Common equity tier 1 capital ratio (%)

 

14.2

13.5

0.7

 

14.4

13.6

0.7

 

15.0

13.9

1.1

Going concern capital ratio (%)

 

18.2

17.2

1.0

 

19.1

18.1

1.0

 

20.0

18.5

1.5

Total loss-absorbing capacity ratio (%)

 

33.0

32.0

0.9

 

33.7

32.8

1.0

 

34.7

33.3

1.3

Leverage ratio denominator

 

1,028,461

1,029,561

(1,100)

 

989,787

989,909

(122)

 

1,068,862

1,067,679

1,183

Common equity tier 1 leverage ratio (%)

 

4.42

4.17

0.25

 

4.51

4.25

0.26

 

4.24

3.90

0.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information about results materials and the earnings call

UBS’s fourth quarter 2022 report, news release and slide presentation are available from 06:45 CET on Tuesday, 31 January 2023, at ubs.com/quarterlyreporting.

UBS will hold a presentation of its fourth quarter 2022 results on Tuesday, 31 January 2023. The results will be presented by Ralph Hamers (Group Chief Executive Officer), Sarah Youngwood (Group Chief Financial Officer), Sarah Mackey (Head of Investor Relations), and Marsha Askins (Group Head Communications & Branding).

Time

09:00 CET

08:00 GMT

03:00 US EST

Audio webcast

The presentation for analysts can be followed live on ubs.com/quarterlyreporting with a simultaneous slide show.

Webcast playback

An audio playback of the results presentation will be made available at ubs.com/investors later in the day.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” including but not limited to management’s outlook for UBS’s financial performance, statements relating to the anticipated effect of transactions and strategic initiatives on UBS’s business and future development and goals or intentions to achieve climate, sustainability and other social objectives. While these forward-looking statements represent UBS’s judgments, expectations and objectives concerning the matters described, a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors could cause actual developments and results to differ materially from UBS’s expectations. The Russia–Ukraine war has led to heightened volatility across global markets, exacerbated global inflation, and slowed global growth. In addition, the war has caused significant population displacement, and if the conflict continues, the scale of disruption will increase and may come to include wide-scale shortages of vital commodities, including causing energy shortages and food insecurity. In addition, the speed of implementation and extent of coordinated sanctions on Russia and Belarus, and Russian and Belarusian entities and nationals, and the uncertainty as to how the situation will develop, may have significant adverse effects on the market and macroeconomic conditions, including in ways that cannot be anticipated. This creates significantly greater uncertainty about forward-looking statements. Other factors that may affect our performance and ability to achieve our plans, outlook and other objectives also include, but are not limited to: (i) the degree to which UBS is successful in the ongoing execution of its strategic plans, including its cost reduction and efficiency initiatives and its ability to manage its levels of risk-weighted assets (RWA) and leverage ratio denominator (LRD), liquidity coverage ratio and other financial resources, including changes in RWA assets and liabilities arising from higher market volatility; (ii) the degree to which UBS is successful in implementing changes to its businesses to meet changing market, regulatory and other conditions; (iii) increased interest rate volatility in major markets; (iv) developments in the macroeconomic climate and in the markets in which UBS operates or to which it is exposed, including movements in securities prices or liquidity, credit spreads, currency exchange rates, the effects of economic conditions, including increasing inflationary pressures, market developments, increasing geopolitical tensions, and changes to national trade policies on the financial position or creditworthiness of UBS’s clients and counterparties, as well as on client sentiment and levels of activity, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to manage it, which have had and may also continue to have a significant adverse effect on global and regional economic activity, including disruptions to global supply chains and labor market displacements; (v) changes in the availability of capital and funding, including any changes in UBS’s credit spreads and ratings, as well as availability and cost of funding to meet requirements for debt eligible for total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC); (vi) changes in central bank policies or the implementation of financial legislation and regulation in Switzerland, the US, the UK, the European Union and other financial centers that have imposed, or resulted in, or may do so in the future, more stringent or entity-specific capital, TLAC, leverage ratio, net stable funding ratio, liquidity and funding requirements, heightened operational resilience requirements, incremental tax requirements, additional levies, limitations on permitted activities, constraints on remuneration, constraints on transfers of capital and liquidity and sharing of operational costs across the Group or other measures, and the effect these will or would have on UBS’s business activities; (vii) UBS’s ability to successfully implement resolvability and related regulatory requirements and the potential need to make further changes to the legal structure or booking model of UBS Group in response to legal and regulatory requirements, or other external developments; (viii) UBS’s ability to maintain and improve its systems and controls for complying with sanctions in a timely manner and for the detection and prevention of money laundering to meet evolving regulatory requirements and expectations, in particular in current geopolitical turmoil; (ix) the uncertainty arising from domestic stresses in certain major economies; (x) changes in UBS’s competitive position, including whether differences in regulatory capital and other requirements among the major financial centers adversely affect UBS’s ability to compete in certain lines of business; (xi) changes in the standards of conduct applicable to our businesses that may result from new regulations or new enforcement of existing standards, including measures to impose new and enhanced duties when interacting with customers and in the execution and handling of customer transactions; (xii) the liability to which UBS may be exposed, or possible constraints or sanctions that regulatory authorities might impose on UBS, due to litigation, contractual claims and regulatory investigations, including the potential for disqualification from certain businesses, potentially large fines or monetary penalties, or the loss of licenses or privileges as a result of regulatory or other governmental sanctions, as well as the effect that litigation, regulatory and similar matters have on the operational risk component of our RWA, as well as the amount of capital available for return to shareholders; (xiii) the effects on UBS’s business, in particular cross-border banking, of sanctions, tax or regulatory developments and of possible changes in UBS’s policies and practices; (xiv) UBS’s ability to retain and attract the employees necessary to generate revenues and to manage, support and control its businesses, which may be affected by competitive factors; (xv) changes in accounting or tax standards or policies, and determinations or interpretations affecting the recognition of gain or loss, the valuation of goodwill, the recognition of deferred tax assets and other matters; (xvi) UBS’s ability to implement new technologies and business methods, including digital services and technologies, and ability to successfully compete with both existing and new financial service providers, some of which may not be regulated to the same extent; (xvii) limitations on the effectiveness of UBS’s internal processes for risk management, risk control, measurement and modeling, and of financial models generally; (xviii) the occurrence of operational failures, such as fraud, misconduct, unauthorized trading, financial crime, cyberattacks, data leakage and systems failures, the risk of which is increased with cyberattack threats from nation states; (xix) restrictions on the ability of UBS Group AG to make payments or distributions, including due to restrictions on the ability of its subsidiaries to make loans or distributions, directly or indirectly, or, in the case of financial difficulties, due to the exercise by FINMA or the regulators of UBS’s operations in other countries of their broad statutory powers in relation to protective measures, restructuring and liquidation proceedings; (xx) the degree to which changes in regulation, capital or legal structure, financial results or other factors may affect UBS’s ability to maintain its stated capital return objective; (xxi) uncertainty over the scope of actions that may be required by UBS, governments and others to achieve goals relating to climate, environmental and social matters, as well as the evolving nature of underlying science and industry and the possibility of conflict between different governmental standards and regulatory regimes; and (xxii) the effect that these or other factors or unanticipated events may have on our reputation and the additional consequences that this may have on our business and performance. The sequence in which the factors above are presented is not indicative of their likelihood of occurrence or the potential magnitude of their consequences. Our business and financial performance could be affected by other factors identified in our past and future filings and reports, including those filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). More detailed information about those factors is set forth in documents furnished by UBS and filings made by UBS with the SEC, including UBS’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2021. UBS is not under any obligation to (and expressly disclaims any obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Rounding

Numbers presented throughout this news release may not add up precisely to the totals provided in the tables and text. Percentages and percent changes disclosed in text and tables are calculated on the basis of unrounded figures. Absolute changes between reporting periods disclosed in the text, which can be derived from numbers presented in related tables, are calculated on a rounded basis.

Tables

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Blog: Three years on from Brexit, all UK voters are left with is a bitter taste of Bregret – The Guardian

Today’s Brexit anniversary marks three years of political mayhem and economic calamity. It is also 50 years since Britain joined the EEC. Ten years ago this month, David Cameron made his shameless Bloomberg speech pledging a referendum to placate his party and Ukippers, who he had previously called “fruitcakes”, “loonies” and “closet racists”.

Cameron wrongly thought Brexiteers could be appeased, but they proved insatiable. The more harm their Brexit does, the more extreme versions they demand, chasing those impossible phantasms they mis-sold to the country.

“Remoaner” was a clever Brexit epithet for the 48% of us who voted remain. The heartbreak of this act of national self-harm left remainers keening in grief, in a long moan for the loss of an ideal, along with certain economic decline. The ache, too, was over the broken old Labour alliances of interest and belief, cities against towns, old against young, those with qualifications against those with few. With the sorrow there was rage, white-hot and vengeful, against cynical Brexit leaders who knowingly sold snake oil and fairy dust.

Grief ebbs when looking to what comes next. David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, last week promised there would be a civilised friendship with Europe under a Labour government. There was talk of reconnecting “a tarnished UK” with its closest allies, “for security and prosperity”; “reducing friction” on trade; unblocking the Horizon scheme; strengthening student links and pledging a “clean power alliance”.

But there is to be no rejoining, no way back to the customs union or single market, Labour says, so as to deny Tory strategists what they yearn for: a re-run of Brexit at the next general election to distract from the economy, the cost of living crisis and collapsed public services. Distressed Labour rejoiners point to how many leavers are now Bregretters. With this rapid shift still ongoing, the pollster John Curtice says that 57% of people are in favour of rejoining, with just 43% for staying out, while 49% think Brexit weakens the economy.

Remainer grief eases at signs of a country reuniting against the liars who pulled off this trick. But it’s rash to imagine that even a 14-point lead means a pro-EU referendum would be won: we know what referendums do. Besides, egocentric Britain forgets that Brussels, with a war on its doorstep and its own economic woes, might shun yet more negotiations with the UK. Let’s not forget the MEPs and envoys we insulted them with, the spite and mendacity spread by the likes of Nigel Farage and Daniel Hannan in the European parliament or David Frost across the negotiating table.

There is some cheer: these polls cause such alarm to the Brexit mis-leaders that they are the moaners now – the Bremoaners. Hannan, the ex-MEP and arch-purveyor of Brexit fabrications, is trying to scare defecting Brexit voters back. “There really does seem to be a plot to overturn Brexit,” he warns Telegraph readers. He uses Lammy’s speech as evidence, plus Labour’s resistance to the EU deregulation law. “There is little doubt the Europhile blob is giving it a go,” he writes, “to hold Britain within the EU’s regulatory orbit pending an attempt at re-entry.”

He also warns: “For their plan to have the slightest chance of success, they need to convince the country that Brexit has been an economic disaster.” But that ship has long sailed. Look what Brexit has done: a 4% shrinkage in long-run productivity relative to remaining in the EU, expects the Office for Budget Responsibility, inflation and energy prices are higher than in the EU, trade has fallen by almost a fifth, while the government itself says the much-trumpeted Australian deal will raise GDP by less than 0.1% a year by 2035. Brexit has raised food prices by 6% says the LSE, while draining the workforce. Eurostar also deliberately leaves a third of seats empty due to crippling EU/UK border delays.

The Brexit press can’t hide these inconvenient truths. Jeremy Warner, the Telegraph’s associate editor, challenges Jeremy Hunt’s bizarrely Pollyanna-ish assessment of the economy, writing “trade with our European neighbours is faltering badly,” due to Brexit, with “the rather awkward fact that the UK is the only G7 economy yet to recover to its pre-pandemic size”. “The grim reality is that the country seems to be falling apart on almost every front” and “car production has fallen to its lowest since the 1950s”.

All that is why Prof Matthew Goodwin says that “Bregret is taking hold in Britain” with only one in five thinking it’s going well. Brexiters are now the minority, Bremoaning like hell because no amount of Brexit boosterism will bring back those lost supporters who know exactly whom to blame. Few will agree that their pet project has failed because it wasn’t “hard Brexit” enough. Eventually extreme Brexiters will subside back into their irrelevant coterie of cultists, unforgiven and moaning all the way.

Blog: Fintan O’Toole: The ‘great national drama’ of Brexit has lapsed into sullen silence – The Irish Times

The time was out of joint. The moment of Brexit, three years ago tonight, really should have been the midnight hour: the chimes counting up to 12, history being set again at 00.00.

But Brexit happened on Brussels time – and thus an incongruous 11pm in London.

It was as if, in the fairy-tale, Cinderella had to be home by 11.

Even the bells were muted. The authorities couldn’t be bothered to get Big Ben working to toll the beginning of the new age. Vicars declined to ring church bells for fear of losing half their congregations.

Boris Johnson tried to generate the missing sense of awe by mixing his metaphors in a prime ministerial address to the nation, hailing “the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act in our great national drama”.

But he could not but acknowledge the air of boredom, conceding that as well as those who were filled with either hope or loss, there was a third constituency, made up of the masses “who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.”

This caught the peculiar nature of the great upheaval. It was, and is, a strange kind of revolution: dramatic dullness, terrific tedium, epoch-making ennui.

Dawn broke – on another grey day like so many others. The curtain came up – on a show whose dialogue was full of airy nothings and whose leading characters could never decide whether they were playing in a historical pageant, a farce or a tragedy.

Three years on, what does it all amount to? A solution in search of a problem, a rebellion in search of a cause. A gesture grand enough to knock over the crockery but a gesture towards what exactly?

Taking back control? British governance actually looks more arbitrary, more opaque and more subject to networks of private influence than ever.

Reviving the mercantilist power of the empire? Trade with the European Union is now 16 per cent less than it would have been had Brexit not occurred.

The British government aimed to have exports worth £1 trillion a year by 2020. It now hopes to reach that target in 2035, 15 years late.

Putting all that money supposedly wasted by Brussels bureaucrats into the National Health Service? The NHS is now in an existential crisis.

Giving dignity and a voice to the people who have been left behind in deindustrialised Britain? John Burn-Murdoch has calculated in the Financial Times that the poorest people in Ireland now have a standard of living 63 per cent higher than their counterparts in Britain.

Making Britain great again? The country that once governed so much of the world seems unable to govern itself. Its very existence as a single state is an open question.

Being, as many of the Brexiters were sure they would be, the harbingers of the collapse of the EU? Since Brexit, support for leaving the EU has fallen very significantly in every member state – partly because the British example is so chastening and partly because, without its most recalcitrant member, the EU has become a more coherent force.

That night three years ago, Johnson listed what he was actually going to do now that the UK was “unshackled” from its European prison: “Defeating crime, transforming our NHS, and with better education, with superb technology … the biggest revival of our infrastructure since the Victorians”.

But none of these things had anything to do with the EU. Crime, education and health are all national competences and there has never been anything to stop Britain investing in technology or infrastructure. It was like claiming that, now that I don’t need a driver’s licence, I can cycle wherever I want.

This is why Brexit is such an anticlimax. I have suggested before that the problem with overthrowing imaginary oppression is that you get imaginary freedom.

And the problem with imaginary freedom is that it melts away pretty fast. Even for its diehard supporters, Brexit is already in the past: a lost opportunity, a new dawn that would have been forever radiant, if only…

It ends, not with a bang, but with the whimper otherwise known as the Northern Ireland protocol. The last bit of drama to be squeezed out of the whole misadventure is a cliffhanger in which, for most of the English public, the cliff is two feet high.

The stakes for Northern Ireland may be very serious, but if anyone in Thurrock or Yarmouth ever thinks about the protocol at all, it is surely only to wonder how the golden age ended up as an arcane row about the status of a sausage on the ferry from Stranraer to Larne.

And when the protocol war is “done”, as it surely will be, whether the DUP likes it or not, there will not even be anything left to get indignant about. Has there ever been a “great national drama” that has lapsed so soon into sullen silence?

There is genuine pathos in all of this – a deep sadness for people who thought their lives were going to get better. But also bathos: the chimes of not quite midnight not quite ringing out over a landscape of weary disappointment.

Blog: Rishi Sunak toasts to three years outside EU and hails Brexit benefits… – The Sun

RISHI Sunak tonight toasted three years outside the EU by hailing the benefits of Brexit.

He said his first 100 days as PM had seized on the opportunities of leaving by slashing business red tape, opening freeport trade hubs and getting rid of bonkers Brussels rules.

PM Rishi Sunak toasted to three years since leaving the EU and noted the freedoms unlocked by Brexit

1

PM Rishi Sunak toasted to three years since leaving the EU and noted the freedoms unlocked by BrexitCredit: PA

And the Tory leader – who will pass the milestone on Thursday – said “this is just the beginning”.

He said: “In the three years since leaving the EU, we’ve made huge strides in harnessing the freedoms unlocked by Brexit.

“We’ve been able to tackle generational challenges.

“Whether leading Europe’s fastest vaccine rollout, striking trade deals with over 70 countries or taking back control of our borders, we’ve forged a path as an independent nation with confidence.

“And in my first 100 days as Prime Minister, that momentum hasn’t slowed.

“We’re cutting red tape for businesses, levelling up through our freeports.

“And we’re designing our own, fairer farming system to protect the British countryside.”

Blog: Brexiteers hand Sunak blueprint to reap Brexit rewards as UK ‘now controls its destiny’ – Express

Iain Duncan Smith on ‘big changes’ on Brexit benefits

Brexiteers have hailed benefits reaped from the UK’s departure from the EU but highlighted work still to do as Britain marks the third anniversary of leaving the bloc. On January 31 three years ago, then-PM Boris Johnson led the country out of Brussels after decades of membership and years of campaigning by the Express.

The UK entered an 11-month transition period until the end of 2020, during which time it remained bound to the EU’s rules.

Now three years on from the official exit, Brexiteers have listed major wins made possible by quitting, including the hugely successful Covid vaccine rollout, Britain’s key support for war-torn Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin‘s brutal invasion, and trade deals struck with countries around the world.

But Leave-backers have also pointed out there is still much to be done, including sorting out the Northern Ireland Protocol which has been an ongoing source of tension and slashing EU red tape.

Mark Francois, chairman of the powerful European Research Group (ERG) of pro-Brexit Tory backbenchers, told the Express: “There have been many advantages to our leaving the EU including one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world, being able to pursue our own foreign policy over Ukraine and our own trade policy, including over 70 new trade deals, including with Commonwealth allies, like Australia and New Zealand.

“In addition, over 7,000 new laws, directives and regulations have been passed by the EU since we left, which Britain is no longer subject to.

“However, the biggest advantage is that we now control our own destiny. Throughout this whole debate I have never really understood why some people want us not to run our own country – but to be run by somebody else instead.”

Brexit

Key Brexit figures Boris Johnson and Mark Francois (Image: GETTY)

Tory David Jones, deputy chair of the ERG, added: “Obviously the main benefit of Brexit so far is that we are an independent country.

“We are a sovereign country, we make our own laws in the interests of our own people and are not subject to a system whereby laws are agreed behind closed doors. In other words, we have restored our democracy and that is the most important trait.

“I think what we need to do is to get rid of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is the last step of Brexit. We’ve got to make sure that Northern Ireland returns to its full status.”

Mr Jones highlighted the prospect of the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement.

He said: “I think that we must also press on to secure the CPTPP membership. We want to press on with that and make sure we do get it.

“These are the world’s fastest-growing economies and we also want to see India and the US joining that – it would be a massive free trade area.

Brexit

Brexiteers celebrate in London on January 31 2020 (Image: GETTY)

“There is a lot to look forward to, we’ve only just started. We are living through a period of revolution, three years in a revolution is not a very long time. We’ve already secured a great deal, but there’s a great deal more to secure as well.

“And I think when we looked at the 10th anniversary we will see that the UK is a very dynamic economy. It’s free from the EU. It’s got free trade deals with countries right across the world.

“We’ll be subject to less bureaucratic regulation from the EU and I think that generally there will be a huge feeling of relief that we haven’t gone down the road that the EU has gone.”

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant highlighted how the pandemic has had an impact on seizing benefits, but urged the Government to make up for lost time by ditching red tape to gain a competitive edge over Brussels.

He said: “Covid understandably distracted the Government from taking full advantage of Brexit.

“We need to catch up by making the UK the most competitive nation in Europe and discard unnecessary regulations.”

Brexit in Express front pages

Brexit in Express front pages (Image: EXPRESS)

Former Tory minister and ex-Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe said: “First of all we’ve got to sort out Northern Ireland, which we haven’t done.

“Secondly, we’ve got to get rid of the EU laws which are still on our statute book, which we haven’t done.

“Thirdly we’ve got to get rid of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in our affairs, which we haven’t done.”

Turning to benefits, she continued: “We’ve negotiated some pretty good trade deals. And if you look at the figures, our exports in food have risen very sharply, so that’s been a plus.

“Certainly control of legal immigration has been a great plus, because we can now say who comes here, on what terms, whether they can get benefits, all that sort of stuff. We weren’t able to do that before.

“So there have been benefits but the real big benefit that we all wanted from Brexit was that we would become competitive. We would, to use that awful expression, become Singapore-on-Thames and that we would become a hive of enterprise, and our tax regime has made that impossible.

“The biggest benefit was our own sovereignty back. But we’ve thrown away the single biggest economic benefit by going for a high-tax economy. Nobody’s going to want to come here and invest in a high-tax economy.”

On legislation for a bonfire of EU laws which cleared its final Commons hurdle earlier this month and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s speech last week setting out plans to axe the so-called Solvency II EU directive to unlock up to £100 billion of private investment, Ms Widdecombe added: “I’m sick of hearing speeches, I want to see action.

“I’m no longer interested in talking about what we’re going to do, I want to actually see us doing it.”