Unfamiliar-Two key UBS merchants bother about bank’s measurement, regulatory friction

Two key UBS merchants bother about bank's measurement, regulatory friction
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Emblems of Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS are seen sooner than a news conference in Zurich Switzerland, August 30, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

By Stefania Spezzati and Oliver Hirt

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS is forging forward with its integration of Credit Suisse however two key merchants dismay the Swiss bank would be on a collision course with regulators thanks to its measurement.

UBS took over its rival in a instruct-orchestrated rescue closing year, creating a bank with a steadiness sheet of larger than $1.6 trillion, nearly twice the size of the Swiss economy. Its shares are up about 50% since March, when the deal became once announced, outperforming the Stoxx European Banks Index.

However shareholder carrier agency Ethos, which advises clients that in complete enjoy between 3% and 5% of UBS’s shares, is anxious relating to the affect the bank can bear on future banking law, per chance undermining Switzerland’s skill to rein in possibility-taking.

Any other investor, a top 10 shareholder who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, talked about the possibility of chronic war with Swiss regulators and lawmakers over the bank’s measurement may per chance well well well bog down the tender working of the lender.

For Switzerland, the stakes are high.

UBS dominates particular components of the Swiss banking market, akin to industrial lending, and can pose a possibility to the economy may per chance well well well also composed it safe into effort.

UBS’s takeover of its rival triggered a debate about whether the too-substantial-to-fail regulatory framework that emerged from the monetary disaster in 2008 is match for reason.

Globally systemically necessary banks — akin to UBS — are required to devise for decision, which can per chance well well also composed allow regulators to unwind them without broader systemic repercussions. Resolution for Credit Suisse became once regarded as however no longer pursued.

Within the spring, the Swiss finance ministry will undergo the parliament a overview of the nation’s systemically necessary banks after the events in March closing year.

“We are composed very shy relating to the size of UBS in instruct when put next to the Swiss market,” Vincent Kaufmann, CEO of Ethos knowledgeable Reuters.

“We ogle the aptitude distortion of competition in loads of agencies and a focus of risks namely activities.”

Switzerland has a “too-gigantic-to-fail” bother now which requires “steady legislation and heaps extra and heaps extra belongings to the supervisory physique,” he added.

“Legislation may per chance well well well also composed require stronger capital execrable. UBS will absolutely foyer in opposition to that and its increased measurement will per chance bear the next affect on the legislative course of,” Kaufmann talked about.


UBS talked about the level of interest on its steadiness sheet is misleading. It holds around 20% of complete belongings in extremely liquid belongings and but any other 15% in mortgages to retail and prosperous clients, which undergo very low risks, it talked about in e-mailed comments to Reuters.

The bank’s steadiness sheet will doubtless be additional reduced over the subsequent three years and “facets to put collectively for a doable decision are in set and shall be additional improved for the combined bank,” UBS talked about.

Nonetheless, the scream for UBS will doubtless be working a industry which rewards merchants however is additionally acceptable for regulators from a possibility perspective, the discontinue 10 shareholder knowledgeable Reuters.

The Swiss finance watchdog FINMA and the central bank should always be elated with its industry mannequin, the discontinue 10 shareholder talked about, otherwise there would be friction over the dangers that a bank of its measurement poses.

If UBS desires to live a Swiss bank, resolving the debate around law in its residence nation is a important condition, the discontinue 10 shareholder talked about.

Meanwhile, UBS may per chance well well well also composed mitigate risks in its steadiness sheet, the person added, expressing self belief within the newest administration however additionally highlighting the should always put collectively a sound succession thought.

CEO Sergio Ermotti has beforehand talked about he plans to protect at the helm of UBS thru 2026.

FINMA, which has merely appointed a contemporary CEO, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

A Swiss Nationwide Bank spokesperson talked about that in query of UBS’s better systemic importance and the linked risks for Switzerland, the nation’s authorities should always elevate a thorough diagnosis and be taught classes from Credit Suisse.


Regulators are composed no longer willing may per chance well well well also composed UBS ever need public strengthen, a senior policymaker all in favour of an emergency neighborhood space up by Swiss regulators for Credit Suisse in 2022, knowledgeable Reuters, talking on condition of anonymity.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ on Saturday, Swiss Lifestyles Chairman Rolf Dörig, talked about that the contemporary UBS became once “too substantial for the nation. If UBS wanted to be rescued, it can per chance well well be devastating.”

However some merchants are attracted to UBS’s boost scheme, which is willing to focal level on the wealth industry globally and on its retail and company banking operations in Switzerland.

Cevian Capital in December talked about it had built up a 1.3% stake, betting on a two-fold recovery of its shares.

“Once the mix is total, the contemporary bank is no longer any longer going to be great bigger than the outdated school UBS,” Andreas Thomae at Deka Funding, which per LSEG facts holds 0.12% shares within the bank, talked about.

The integration is a multi-year job that can involve hundreds of job cuts in Switzerland and in other locations.

“By unnerved, UBS is additionally accommodating Swiss politics,” Thomae talked about.

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