The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and Switzerland’s financial regulator reportedly believe that the acquisition of investment bank Credit Suisse by UBS — Switzerland’s largest bank — is the “only option” to prevent a “collapse in confidence” in Credit Suisse.
According to a March 18 Financial Times report citing three people familiar with the situation, Switzerland is preparing to use “emergency measures” to accelerate the takeover by UBS of Credit Suisse to finalize the acquisition before “markets open on Monday.“
The report notes that the emergency measures would allow the deal to proceed without a shareholder vote, bypassing the usual Swiss regulations that require a “six-week” consultation period for shareholders “to consult on the acquisition.”
The SNB and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) are working to “reach regulatory agreement” by Saturday night, having reportedly told international counterparts that “they regard a deal” with UBS as the “only option” to prevent a “collapse in confidence” in Credit Suisse.
It was noted that UBS intends to proceed with Credit Suisse’s plans to downsize its investment bank, with two of the people “briefed on the situation” stating that the “combined entity will make up no more than a third of the merged group.”
UBS reportedly has “$1.1tn [trillion]” total assets on its balance sheet, while Credit Suisse has “$575bn [billion]” — a successful merger between the two Swiss banks would reportedly create one of “the biggest global systemically important financial institutions in Europe.”
This comes after American investment company BlackRock stated in a March 18 tweet that it “has no interest” in acquiring Credit Suisse.
Previously, the SNB and FINMA released a joint statement on March 15 stating that Credit Suisse met the “capital and liquidity requirements” imposed on systemically important banks.
The statement noted, if necessary, the SNB would provide Credit Suisse “with liquidity,” acknowledging that Credit Suisse had been “affected by market reactions in recent days.”