Embattled UBS poised for merger with SBC
Saturday 06 December 1997
Employees of Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) have been summoned to weekend meetings to hear details of their fate, according to banking sources. UBS is expected to announce a merger with rival Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC), a move which would lead to a jobs "bloodbath" in both the City and elsewhere. A full-scale merger of the two banks would create one of the largest banks in the world, with assets of more than pounds 350bn.
"UBS has been in paralysis for six months because there's been a feeling that a major announcement is on its way. The bank's lost several key staff in the process," said one insider yesterday.
Discussions between the two banks are thought to have begun some months ago, following UBS's snub to Switzerland's third banking giant, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), last year. In April 1996, UBS rejected overtures from CSFB, which recently took control of parts of BZW, Barclays' investment banking arm.
Sources close to UBS say the beleaguered bank could hive off some of its banking activities and merge the remainder with SBC. JP Morgan, the US investment bank, has been named as a likely bidder for the Swiss bank's sizeable equities business. And speculation has also focused on Deutsche Bank, the German banking giant, as a possible purchaser of UBS's Swiss client portfolio.
Shares in both UBS, whose board met yesterday, and SBC, were sharply higher in Zurich trading yesterday.
The Swiss market is heavily over-banked, and all three Swiss banking giants posted heavy losses last year. Merger speculation has been heightened in recent weeks following comments from a major UBS shareholder, Swiss investor Martin Ebner. Mr Ebner recently suggested that it would make sense for two of the Swiss banks to merge and then hive off some business or join forces with a foreign partner.
"UBS is no longer master of its own destiny. If it tries to stay on its own, it's already too late for it to succeed," commented one source last night.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
iJobs Money & Business
£70-90,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client a London Market Insurer are seeking a Pro...
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...