UBS (UBSG.S) is in discussions to acquire Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), with the boards of Switzerland’s two biggest lenders meeting separately this weekend, the Financial Times reported. The Swiss National Bank and regulator FINMA are organizing the talks to build confidence in the country’s banking sector, Reuters reported, citing sources.
Swiss regulators informed their US and UK counterparts on Friday evening that the merger of the two banks was their “Plan A” for salvaging Credit Suisse’s reputation. The two banks are also exploring several other options as they evaluate regulatory constraints in different jurisdictions, according to the newspaper.
Reports said the Swiss central bank is seeking a straightforward solution before Monday’s markets open, adding that a deal is not guaranteed. According to the report, both Credit Suisse and UBS declined to comment. A request for comment from Reuters was not immediately responded to by the Swiss National Bank or FINMA.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse were opposed to a forced merger, with UBS preferring to focus on its own wealth-centric strategy rather than risk taking on Credit Suisse’s risk. After the collapse of U.S. lenders SVB and New York-based Signature Bank, Credit Suisse was forced to borrow $54 billion from Switzerland’s central bank to shore up liquidity.