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Swiss Watchdog OKs UBS Takeover of Credit Suisse, No Competition Concerns

 |  June 19, 2024

Switzerland’s financial regulator, FINMA, has determined that the UBS acquisition of Credit Suisse does not pose any competition concerns, effectively dismissing the recommendations of the country’s antitrust watchdog, COMCO, for further scrutiny.

In a statement released on Wednesday, FINMA concluded, “The merger of UBS and Credit Suisse will not eliminate effective competition in any market segment.” This decision follows a report by COMCO, which was made public on Wednesday, though it had been submitted to FINMA back in September.

The consolidation of UBS and Credit Suisse, initiated in a state-engineered rescue last year, has sparked extensive debate in Switzerland regarding the influence of UBS in key financial sectors such as Swiss loan and debt markets. Analysts have pointed out the dominant position UBS now holds following the merger.

Despite the antitrust watchdog’s concerns, FINMA’s ruling has resolved the issue, allowing UBS to proceed with integrating Credit Suisse into its operations. UBS had previously considered selling Credit Suisse’s domestic business but ultimately decided against it, as reported by CNBC.

Read more: EU Set To OK UBS-Credit Suisse Deal

The merger, the largest banking rescue since the 2008/9 financial crisis, has significantly altered the Swiss banking landscape by removing one of its two major players. This consolidation has raised concerns about the potential economic impact should UBS encounter any financial difficulties.

COMCO’s ability to assess the competitive impact of mergers was temporarily suspended when Swiss authorities invoked emergency laws to expedite the UBS-Credit Suisse deal. However, the agency retains the authority to review UBS’s market position concerning specific competition-related issues.

UBS has affirmed its commitment to continue the integration process of Credit Suisse in line with FINMA’s decision, signaling a new chapter for the Swiss banking industry.

Source: CNBC