- By Kathryn Armstrong
- BBC news
Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire all or part of its troubled rival Credit Suisse.
Shares of Credit Suisse have fallen sharply in recent days after it said it found “material weakness” in its financial reporting.
A $54bn (£44.5bn) lifeline from the Swiss National Bank has not solved the problem.
Regulators are trying to broker a deal before markets reopen on Monday.
There are concerns that shares of Credit Suisse could continue to fall after falling 24% on Wednesday.
This caused a general sell-off in European markets and fears of a wider financial crisis.
The Swiss government held an emergency meeting on Saturday evening, but so far there has been no official statement on the progress of the negotiations.
UBS would have asked the Swiss government to cover about $6bn (£4.9bn) in costs if it bought Credit Suisse, according to sources quoted by Reuters.
Any deal could also lead to significant job losses.
The troubles coincided with the bankruptcy of two US lenders – Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank – sparking fears for the health of the banking system
Founded in 1856, Credit Suisse has faced a series of scandals in recent years, including allegations of money laundering.
It reported 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 has warned it won’t be profitable until 2024.
However, UBS made a profit of $7.6 billion in 2022.
In addition to being a domestic bank with 95 branches, Credit Suisse also operates a global investment bank and manages the assets of wealthy clients.
It is one of 30 banks worldwide deemed 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 worldwide, including 16,700 in Switzerland, although 9,000 jobs would be cut, Swiss broadcaster SRF reports.
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