UBS and Credit score Suisse: Comparable Swiss banks with differing fortunes

UBS and Credit Suisse, the 2 greatest banks in Switzerland, are in takeover talks, in keeping with a number of media — a transfer lengthy deemed unthinkable because the pair are so related.

The negotiations, which might see UBS take over its embattled smaller home rival, are being orchestrated by the Swiss regulators in an try and reassure the markets earlier than they re-open on Monday.

Credit score Suisse continues to be wanting shaky regardless of taking a $54-billion lifeline thrown by the Swiss central bank. Buyers stay nervous about its future following the collapse of two banks in the US that sparked contagion fears.

Throughout the week, US analysts had already floated the opportunity of a takeover by UBS, which made a wholesome $7.6 billion {dollars} in internet revenue in 2022.

Rivals Credit score Suisse, headquartered not more than 300 metres away in central Zurich, in the meantime suffered a lack of 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.9 billion).

Each banks derive most of their income from wealth administration and funding banking.

UBS is the world chief in wealth administration and generated almost 15 p.c of its $34.5 billion in turnover in 2022 by way of this international arm.At Credit score Suisse — stage with the US’ Morgan Stanley in second place — wealth administration contributed 22 p.c of the 22.4 billion Swiss francs in turnover.

Funding banking represents 25.2 p.c of UBS’s turnover, in comparison with almost 20.6 p.c at Credit score Suisse, with the pair working many related actions reminiscent of mergers and acquisitions recommendation.

In October, Credit score Suisse started a serious restructuring mission that plans to separate its funding banking from the remainder of its actions, after a sequence of scandals.

Nonetheless, many traders think about the revamp to be too complicated — and UBS would possibly need to avoid taking up Credit score Suisse’s problematic funding banking.

Each banks are lively in asset administration and retail banking. UBS depends on a community of almost 200 branches in Switzerland, in comparison with 95 for Credit score Suisse.

The Swiss home department of Credit score Suisse, thought-about one among its jewels, is especially lively in mortgages and loans to small- and medium-sized companies.

In a be aware Thursday, analysts at US monetary companies big JPMorgan thought this arm of Credit score Suisse would in all probability must be spun off or listed individually on the inventory change within the occasion of a merger.

Switzerland’s Competitors Fee may be reluctant to approve a merger on this subject.

UBS and Credit score Suisse are on the apex of banking in a rustic identified worldwide for its banking business.

UBS, in its trendy kind, was born in 1998 when the Swiss Financial institution Company merged with the Union Bank of Switzerland.

SBC’s origins date again to 1854 when six wealth administration institutions in Basel joined forces, whereas the Union Bank of Switzerland dates again to 1852 and the creation of a financial institution in Winterthur, a metropolis on the coronary heart of the commercial revolution in Switzerland.

Credit score Suisse was born across the identical time in 1856, on the instigation of Alfred Escher who needed to finance the Swiss railway growth.

Credit score Suisse has additionally contributed to the emergence of insurance coverage stalwarts, reminiscent of Swiss Life and Swiss Re, and industrial giants like Brown Boveri, ancestor of the ABB engineering group.

At present the 2 banks are international teams, with UBS using 72,597 folks and Credit score Suisse 50,480.

With the 2 banks’ headquarters so shut to one another, it’s not unusual for careers to be made with one after which proceed on the different.

Credit score Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann spent greater than 11 years at UBS earlier than being known as to the rescue in 2021 to show Credit score Suisse round.

And Credit score Suisse chief govt Ulrich Korner left the financial institution to hitch UBS earlier than returning, first to save lots of the asset administration department after which the entire financial institution by taking the CEO hotseat.


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