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UBS completes takeover of Credit Suisse, imposing stricter regulations

UBS Completes Takeover of Credit Suisse, Imposing Stricter Regulations

In this post:

  • UBS completes its emergency takeover of Credit Suisse, creating a Swiss banking giant with a $1.6 trillion balance sheet.
  • Stricter regulations, known as “red lines,” are imposed by UBS to mitigate risk and protect against inheriting Credit Suisse’s relaxed approach to risk management.
  • The “red lines” cover operational and non-operational risks, limiting financial products, requiring approval for large loans, and imposing restrictions on dealings with high-risk countries. The merger presents growth opportunities but also challenges in retaining staff and customers.

UBS has successfully concluded its emergency acquisition of troubled local rival Credit Suisse, establishing a colossal Swiss bank with a balance sheet worth $1.6 trillion. The merger is the largest banking deal since the 2008 global financial crisis, positioning UBS as a dominant force in wealth management and offering numerous opportunities for clients, employees, shareholders, and Switzerland.

UBS Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti and Chairman Colm Kelleher announced the completion of the takeover, acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead and highlighting the potential opportunities for all stakeholders involved. With a combined total of $5 trillion in assets, UBS gains a leading position in key markets, accelerating its growth trajectory. Additionally, this historic merger ended Credit Suisse’s 167-year history, which scandals and financial losses had marred. On their last day of trading, Credit Suisse shares rose by 0.4%, mirroring the increase in UBS shares during mid-day trade.

 UBS implements strict “red lines” to mitigate risk

Despite its scale and complexity, the successful completion of the acquisition in less than three month aims to ensure stability for Credit Suisse’s clients and employees, averting potential departures. However, it also raises questions about the effectiveness of central reforms introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, as the rescue orchestrated by Swiss authorities challenges the notion of predictability and the belief that banks’ problems would not burden taxpayers.

As part of the restructuring process, UBS announced plans to reduce costs through job cuts and capitalize on synergies. The merger brings about several management changes, including within Credit Suisse AG, which will now operate as a separate subsidiary. More than 160 leaders have been confirmed or appointed at UBS, with over 20% joining from Credit Suisse, according to a UBS spokesperson.

Andre Helfenstein, the head of Credit Suisse’s domestic business, will retain his position while UBS explores strategic options for the unit. However, UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti faces the politically sensitive decision of determining the future of Credit Suisse’s “crown jewel” – its domestic business. While merging the two banks’ networks could generate significant savings, preserving the business’s brand, identity, and workforce is paramount due to public pressure.

The acquisition, valued at 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.32 billion) and assuming up to five billion francs in losses, was orchestrated by Swiss authorities to prevent the collapse of Credit Suisse. UBS recently finalized an agreement on the conditions for a 9 billion Swiss franc ($10 billion) public backstop to cover losses incurred during the winding down of certain Credit Suisse operations.

Cryptopolitan reported earlier that UBS’s stringent compliance-driven approach involves implementing “red lines” to curtail the risk profile inherited from Credit Suisse. These nearly twenty-four business practices aim to protect UBS from assuming a financial institution with a history of lax risk management. The restrictions encompass operational and non-operational areas, impacting core Credit Suisse operations. Certain financial products and high-risk countries will face tighter scrutiny to limit potential money laundering and corruption risks.

While the acquisition positions UBS as a dominant force in the banking industry, concerns about its increased size, with a balance sheet double the size of the Swiss economy, may subject the bank to heightened regulation and capital requirements. Analysts caution that the uncertainty surrounding the merger’s outcome raises questions about its long-term value for shareholders.

As UBS embarks on this transformative phase, it is evident that the lessons learned from Credit Suisse’s troubled past will shape UBS’s future operations. Swiss lawmakers have initiated a parliamentary commission investigating the circumstances leading to Credit Suisse’s downfall. Both UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment on the impending changes.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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