June 19, 2024

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Credit Suisse: UBS is said to be in takeover talks with its troubled rival

Credit Suisse: UBS is said to be in takeover talks with its troubled rival
  • Written by Kathryn Armstrong
  • BBC News

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Credit Suisse has faced a series of scandals in recent years, including money laundering charges

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, is reported to be in advanced talks to buy all or part of its struggling rival Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse shares have fallen sharply in recent days after it said it found “fundamental weakness” in its financial reporting.

An emergency lifeline of $54bn (£44.5bn) from the Swiss National Bank did not solve the problem.

Regulators are trying to smooth the deal ahead of markets reopening on Monday.

There are fears that Credit Suisse shares could continue to fall after they plunged 24% on Wednesday.

This led to a general sell-off in European markets, and fears of a broader financial crisis.

The Swiss government held an emergency meeting on Saturday night, but so far there has been no official statement on the progress of the negotiations.

UBS is said to have asked the Swiss government to cover around $6 billion (£4.9 billion) in costs if it were to buy Credit Suisse, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

Any deal may also result in significant job losses.

The troubles coincided with the failure of two US lenders – Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank – which raised concerns about the health of the banking system.

It announced a loss of 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.9 billion; £6.5 billion) in 2022 – its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis – and warned that it did not expect to be profitable until 2024.

However, UBS made a profit of $7.6 billion in 2022.

In addition to being a local bank with 95 branches, Credit Suisse has a global investment banking operation and manages the assets of wealthy clients.

It is one of 30 banks worldwide that are considered too big to fail because they are so important to the international banking system.

At the end of last year, Credit Suisse had 50,480 employees globally, including 16,700 in Switzerland, although 9,000 jobs were due to be cut, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported.