Business Merger rumor: UBS President Axel Weber is said to...

Merger rumor: UBS President Axel Weber is said to have threatened to relocate the headquarters

The speculation about a possible large merger of UBS and CS does not stop. The driving force is said to be UBS President Axel Weber. Allegedly, the merger issue comes this week in the UBS board of directors, writes “Inside Paradeplatz”.

Space for speculation: Credit Suisse and UBS at Zurich’s Paradeplatz.

Keystone

“Signal” is the name of the merger project, reported the industry portal “Inside Paradeplatz” yesterday, and even if it was nothing but speculation, the report had consequences: UBS and CS shares rose sharply on the stock exchange. The two stocks opened slightly lower this Tuesday morning, but are still higher than they were before the merger rumors emerged.

Meanwhile, the financial blog of business journalist Lukas Hässig is up to speed. There should be “fierce resistance” to the merger plans on both boards, he writes. Severin Schwan, vice chairman of the board of directors of CS (and Roche boss) is named as a prominent critic. The UBS board of directors is supposed to deal with “Signal” this week.

Has Finance Minister Ueli Maurer been informed?

Axel Weber, Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors, is believed to be the driving force behind a merger. The merger should be agreed as early as the beginning of 2021 and completed by the end of the same year, claims the financial blog. Weber had already tried to talk to the authorities. Weber even threatened to move the UBS headquarters to Frankfurt. Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer and Mark Branson, Head of the Financial Market Authority Finma, are said to have been present at the meeting.

According to information from CH Media, however, these were not formal discussions, but merely general discussions about the possibilities and consequences of cooperation between the big banks. The presentation of “Inside Paradeplatz” to the “Fusion Plan” also seems to be rather exaggerated. One hears from UBS that a merger was “only” examined by consultants, as part of the usual business games and option checks.

Top management sees fusion as having no chance – also out of self-interest

As the business agency Bloomberg reports, the merger issue has not yet been specifically discussed with top management. According to CH-Media research, a merger is seen as having no chance there. Possibly also because such a top management level would make many top-wage jobs superfluous.

A merger would create a bank with total assets of CHF 1.7 trillion and with over 116,000 employees. When asked about the rumored merger plans, both communications departments of the banks emphasized on Monday that they would not comment on the rumors.

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