By John O’Donnell
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – UBS is examining a takeover of Credit Suisse that could see the Swiss government offer a guarantee against the risks involved, said two people with knowledge of the matter on Saturday.
The people said that UBS was coming under pressure from the Swiss authorities to carry out a takeover. Under the plan, Credit Suisse’s Swiss business could be spun off, they added.
UBS and Switzerland’s financial regulator FINMA declined to comment when approached by Reuters.
Regulators have urged Credit Suisse Group to pursue a deal with Swiss rival UBS as the troubled bank began a make-or-break weekend after some rivals grew cautious in their dealings with it.
Credit Suisse Chief Financial Officer Dixit Joshi and his teams will hold meetings over the weekend to assess the bank’s options, people with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
The 167-year-old bank is the biggest name ensnared in the market turmoil unleashed by the collapse of U.S. lenders Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank over the past week, forcing the Swiss bank to tap $54 billion in central bank funding.
Dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, UBS is Switzerland’s biggest bank with a market value of 60 billion Swiss francs ($65 billion) and the world’s largest wealth manager.
UBS itself has had its own tumultuous periods, with a clampdown on banking secrecy and a bailout during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
It went through several restructurings, cutting thousands of jobs, and pared back the investment bank to reduce risk and improve returns.
(Reporting by John O’Donnell; Editing by Elisa Martinuzzi, Tom Sims and Hugh Lawson)