The major Swiss bank UBS is to swallow up its domestic competitor Credit Suisse (CS) – details are being negotiated feverishly behind the scenes, it is said. The prerequisite are billions of dollars in government guarantees for UBS. If there is a takeover, 10,000 jobs would have to be cut. The aim is to reach an agreement before the markets open on Monday morning, several people familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency.
The situation of the ailing CS also called the government in Bern onto the scene on Saturday. Its seven members met for an extraordinary meeting, as the “Neue Züricher Zeitung” learned. Other officials and experts were added later.
Many points are still open – such as the question of what should happen to the Credit Suisse investment bank. Another sticking point is the planned downsizing, insiders reported. “The situation remains in flux, but clarity must be achieved by Monday,” wrote an analyst.
According to the Financial Times, the Swiss National Bank and the financial regulator Finma see a merger with UBS as the only way to stop the loss of confidence in Credit Suisse. The bank is the largest money house that got caught up in the maelstrom of the collapsed US credit institutions Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Most recently, CS had to use emergency loans from the Swiss National Bank of up to CHF 50 billion, the equivalent of almost EUR 50.4 billion.
A merger would create a European giant: UBS employs more than 72,000 people, Credit Suisse more than 50,000. Because of the high market shares in the home market, however, the question arises as to whether the competition authorities would wave a merger through at all.
wa/ust (rtr, dpa)