An inaccurate comment from an economist for pigs has an impact on the Swiss bank UBS: A Chinese financial company has announced its business relationship with the foundation. For the economist, his remark has a consequence: The bank asked economists to take a break and check further steps, said a spokesman.
The background is a commentary by UBS's chief economist, Paul Donovan. He said in a podcast published on Wednesday about higher consumer prices due to a Chinese pig disease: "Is it important? It is important if you are a Chinese pig It is important to eat pork in China," he said. China is currently suffering from African swine fever. Since the diagnosis of the disease in August, there have been 120 outbreaks.
Donovan's words had caused indignation in the Chinese financial industry. Haitong International, a subsidiary of Hong Kong's Haitong Securities broker, has just ended its relationship with UBS. "There is no clear timetable for resuming co-operation, it is a management decision," the company said.
Sorry, sometimes it was not accepted
Previously, the head of the Lin Yong Institute had announced the move through a conversation message. Other companies did not initially follow this example. China is an important market for the Swiss bank, hoping to continue its good business in the future.
UBS had been apologized – but some companies had not received the apology. The Chinese Association of Values recommended that its members cease to invoke or invite Donovan to attend events.
The incident also has implications for the economist himself: UBS said he had asked the economist to take a break while considering the issue. "We assess whether further steps are needed," a spokesman said. Donovan left requests for comments without answer.