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“A lot of uncertainties and significant risks”: the takeover of Credit Suisse causes a stir


A large number of Swiss politicians see the takeover of the banking establishment as a blow to the reputation of the Swiss financial centre.

The emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS for a pittance and solid financial guarantees from the authorities was strongly criticized on Monday in Switzerland, with critics seeing it as amateurish and a blow to the reputation of the Swiss financial center. .

Investors were not reassured either, in a very unfavorable global context for the banking sector hit hard by the interest rate hikes of the major central banks.

UBS shares fell 6% at midday and Credit Suisse shares were trading slightly below the 76 cents offered by Switzerland's largest bank, or 3 billion francs in UBS shares.

The latter only reluctantly endorsed her rival's lifeguard cape on Sunday, under intense pressure from the Swiss authorities, themselves pushed by their major economic partners, who fear a costly contagion.

Read alsoThe bank UBS buys its rival Credit Suisse in distress

“Black day for the Swiss financial center”

Neither the press nor a large number of political leaders minced their words on this merger, which creates a super bank and raises questions about its weight in Switzerland and the resulting economic consequences, in particular for employment, because numerous redundancies between the two banks.

The slowness of the authorities is also denounced.

It was not until the announcement of the agreement on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. GMT that the government spoke on the subject after a week of crisis and several emergency meetings.

The central bank and the market policeman let the stock market get carried away on Wednesday before acting only in the early evening.

The president of the liberal right, Thierry Burkhart, speaks of "

shame for Switzerland

" and he refers to Sunday as a "

dark day for the Swiss financial center and for Switzerland as a whole


For the Tribune de Genève "

it is a social waste (for jobs), economic waste (for the reputation of this country) and a political disgrace for leaders who are too slow to act


But they are just as numerous to denounce the slowness of the identification of the risks and the reaction, from the party of the Liberal Greens to the editorialist of the daily Le Temps.

Many politicians and editorialists acknowledge, however, that there was little other choice, the government having evoked nationalization as the only alternative in the event of failure of negotiations with UBS.

As for the radical right (UDC), the first political formation in Switzerland, it considers that adventurism abroad has been fatal, where the Swiss branch of Credit Suisse is very profitable.

She also denounces the influence of foreign regulators and supervisory authorities on the rescue plan.

Read alsoBertille Bayart: “SVB, small bank, big consequences”

And UBS in all this

UBS arrives in this forced marriage in good health - it made more than 7 billion in net profit in 2022 - and with a strategy that has proven itself.

But the merger is not without risk for the Zurich establishment.


There are a lot of uncertainties and significant risks

," reacted Andreas Venditti, analyst at Vontobel, who stresses that the way investors value UBS will change "



UBS was already the world's number one in wealth management, but this merger will create a juggernaut in the sector at the head of 3.4 trillion dollars in assets under management.

UBS shareholders have no say in the takeover, so they can move quickly.

The merger is also likely to have serious consequences in Switzerland on employment given the duplication, particularly in their retail activities in the Alpine country.

UBS relies on a network of nearly 200 branches in the Alpine country against 95 at Credit Suisse.

Both banks do asset management.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-20

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