UBS did not answer today what will happen to Credit Suisse’s Swiss business. This leaves the big question unanswered for the time being: will UBS continue to operate as an independent bank in the future or not? And if so, in what form? UBS boss Sergio Ermotti did not want to comment on this this morning. “All options are on the table,” Ermotti only confirmed in an interview with Radio SRF.
How things will continue with Credit Suisse would be a very crucial point, because it involves thousands of jobs and countless locations within Switzerland. So this uncertainty remains with employees and the public. But Ermotti promised the media today that he would comment in more detail on the takeover in the coming weeks, as soon as possible.
Takeover this summer
After all, UBS announced this morning that it intends to complete the takeover in the second quarter, i.e. by the end of June. The bank also emphasized that the merger with CS will strengthen its position as a leading global wealth manager. In view of this, Ermotti can hardly be happy about the massive shrinking of customer funds at CS.
Financially, UBS got off to a mixed start in the new year: UBS customers once again entrusted more money to them, especially after the takeover of CS, as the bank writes. Of the client inflows in the global wealth management business totaling $28 billion in the first three months, around $7 billion fell in the last ten days of March – i.e. after the announcement of the Credit Suisse takeover.
However, these funds do not come primarily from Credit Suisse, but primarily from international clients, for example in the USA and Asia. This shows that UBS continues to be popular with wealthy private clients worldwide, even though the CS takeover entails additional risks.
Less profit than in the same quarter last year
At the same time, however, UBS is still struggling with legacy issues from the 2008 financial crisis. UBS is therefore setting aside a further 665 million dollars for open legal cases. This is one of the reasons why profits fell in the first quarter to just over a billion US dollars.
But even without legacy issues, UBS posted less profit than in the same quarter of the previous year. The reasons for this are the weakening global economy and rising interest rates. The environment for the financial sector and thus also for Switzerland’s new big bank continues to be difficult.