Back in April, the Swiss bank had cautioned investors that the second quarter could prove difficult. At the time, Ermotti warned that geopolitical tensions and the rise of protectionism posed threats to investor confidence, which could ultimately dent the bank’s performance.
Such concerns were repeated on Tuesday. UBS said "tough ongoing geopolitical tensions and rising protectionism have dampened investor confidence and remain a threat." The Swiss lender added that muted market volatility has not been very supportive of client activity.
Nonetheless, UBS has managed to meet its share repurchase target for this year. The bank bought back 550 million Swiss francs ($553.45 million) worth of own shares under its three-year goal to buy back up to 2 billion Swiss francs of its shares. Speaking to CNBC, Ermotti kept the door open to further repurchases this year if good opportunities come up, despite the bank already meeting its target.
UBS shares were up by nearly 4 percent following the results.