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Project Signal on as UBS drives merger talks with Credit Suisse

September 15
13:43 2020

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Swiss banking giant UBS is leading talks for a merger with fellow bank Credit Suisse which would create the leading banking giant in continental Europe.

Swiss news agency Inside Paradeplatz reported that the merger project has been named Signal and is headed by UBS chairman, Axel Weber, who is in talks with Urs Rohner of Credit Suisse. The report said that the merged UBS-CS would become the leading banking giant in continental Europe. The group could compete with the Anglo-Asian HSBC and the American houses.

Both headquartered in Switzerland, Credit Suisse and UBS are two leaders in the global investment banking industry, and the merger of such big companies would give birth to a massive entity. It is the German Axel Weber who wants to catapult UBS into the next sphere. Weber, is planning a merger with Urs Rohner from Credit Suisse. The project is called Signal, as reported from inside the two big banks.

Axel Weber is the driving force, says an informant, he talked to Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer about it, Inside Paradeplatz reported. The Swiss banking supervisory authority Finma is also in the picture about Weber’s plans which would push the pace. The merger should be agreed in early 2021, and at the end of 2021 Switzerland would have a new financial giant, the report said.

A second source reports from McKinsey, which says that one is involved in something that “would overshadow everything that has existed in the financial center”. McKinsey has been a consultant for both multinationals for years. Weber is likely to become the chairman of the combined entity, so someone from Credit Suisse might take up the position of CEO. It is to be noted that Ralph Hamers will become UBS CEO in November replacing Sergio Ermotti.

Furthermore, the report detailed that they approached Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer and is aiming to close the deal by early next year. However, neither of the banks disclosed anything officially. Despite the agreement of both parties, such a deal would face harsh regulatory scrutiny and might not see an approval easily.

But if approved, the merged entity would become one of Europe’s largest investment entities and become on par with Wall Street giants. However, there would be some repercussions of the merger, as the report pointed out, this might lead to 10 to 20 per cent job cuts from the banks, meaning almost 15,000 staff across the world would lose their jobs, the report said.

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