SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) - UBS UBSN.VX held talks to sell its 8,000-strong U.S. brokerage business to Morgan Stanley (MS.N) late last year, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the situation.
The newspaper said the discussions over UBS Financial Services were unlikely to continue as Morgan had since taken a majority stake in a joint venture brokerage with Citigroup (C.N). But it signalled the Swiss lender's willingness to take drastic steps to overhaul its business.
According to the FT, UBS Financial Services, which UBS acquired in 2000 through its $11.8 billion purchase of PaineWebber, is one of the largest brokerages in the United States with pretax profit of $619 million in 2007.
UBS and Morgan declined comment, the newspaper said.
Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani