Potential Merger of UBS and Credit Suisse Could Be Most Consequential Banking Combination In Europe Since 2008

UBS Group AG (NYSE:UBS) is in talks to acquire all or part of Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) in what would be the most significant banking merger in Europe since the 2008 Great Recession, the Financial Times reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The boards of Switzerland’s two biggest banks plan to meet separately this weekend to weigh the idea, with talks orchestrated by the Swiss National Bank and regulator Finma.[0] UBS would prefer to focus on its own wealth-centric standalone strategy and is reluctant to take on risks associated with Credit Suisse.[1]

The Financial Times reported that Swiss regulators are pushing UBS to look at various ways it could be involved with a solution for Credit Suisse, with the goal to arrive at a solution by Monday.[2] However, any deal could fall through.[3]

UBS and Credit Suisse both declined to comment on the matter, while a spokesman for the U.S. investment giant BlackRock confirmed that they are not participating in any plans to acquire all or any part of Credit Suisse, and have no interest in doing so.[4]

The potential merger of UBS and Credit Suisse would be the most consequential banking combination in Europe since the financial crisis. It follows Credit Suisse’s troubles and their need for a liquidity backstop from the Swiss National Bank. UBS is considering whether to acquire all or part of Credit Suisse, and the outcome is uncertain.

0. “UBS in talks to acquire Credit Suisse – SWI swissinfo.ch” SWI swissinfo.ch in English, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/ubs-in-talks-to-acquire-credit-suisse/48371368

1. “UBS, Credit Suisse not in favour of obligatory merger” Private Banker International, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.privatebankerinternational.com/news/ubs-credit-suisse/

2. “Credit Suisse (CS) Latest News & Analysis: UBS Is Said to Explore Deal” Bloomberg, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-17/ubs-is-said-to-explore-credit-suisse-deal-in-crisis-combination

3. “UBS in discussions to buy Credit Suisse: report” MarketWatch, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ubs-in-discussions-to-buy-credit-suisse-report-2e026881

4. “BlackRock denies report that it's preparing a takeover bid for Credit Suisse” CNBC, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/18/blackrock-is-working-on-a-rival-takeover-bid-for-credit-suisse-financial-times-reports.html

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