The boss of UBS wants a "360-degree investigation" into the causes of the fall of Credit Suisse, he said Friday, while his bank is conducting a complex takeover of his former rival. "It's crystal clear, the situation has not developed in the last six weeks, but in the last six or seven years," said Sergio Ermotti, who took over UBS in early April and was speaking at the Swiss media forum in Lucerne. "This complete, 360-degree investigation must go back a long way," he added, according to the Swiss agency ATS.
On March 19, UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse for three billion Swiss francs, an equivalent amount in euros, under pressure from the Swiss authorities in order to avoid its collapse of its rival. Without the takeover, Credit Suisse would likely have defaulted on March 20 or 21, Swiss President Alain Berset said at an extraordinary session in parliament. Credit Suisse has accumulated scandals in particular since March 2021, when the bank was shaken alternately by the bankruptcy of the British financial company Greensill and the implosion of the American fund Archegos.
A major restructuring was launched last October to try to turn the bank around, but a panic gripped the financial markets in mid-March in the wake of the bankruptcy of the American bank SVB, precipitating the fall of this pillar of Swiss finance. Sergio Ermotti therefore wants a detailed analysis of the causes of the fall of Credit Suisse, while UBS has had only two days to decide on this merger made under pressure, even though the bank has obtained strong guarantees from the Swiss Confederation. "A lot of things that happen now would take a year under normal circumstances," Ermotti said.
Given the complexity of the task ahead of UBS, the Board of Directors recalled UBS's CEO, who had previously led the bank from 2011 to 2020. UBS initially expected to finalize the deal at the end of June, but at a financial show in Zurich last week, Sergio Ermotti hinted that the merger could be sealed earlier, around the end of May or beginning of June.