International

Switzerland’s SIX Agrees To Take Over Germany’s Swiss Euro Clearing Bank

Switzerland’s SIX announced that it is increasing its stake in Germany’s Swiss Euro Clearing Bank GmbH (SECB) from 25 percent to 100 percent.

SECB is a commercial bank with the primary purpose of providing the connection for banks and financial institutions to the main euro clearing systems, as well as to process payment transactions in euros in Switzerland and Liechtenstein but also in other countries.

In addition, SECB acts as a correspondent bank for these institutions, while also supervising and monitoring the system. It also acts as a liquidity manager for the system and as a settlement agent for the system participants.

SIX happens to be SECB’s biggest client and has held a 25 percent stake in the bank since it launched in 1999. SIX will now buy the remaining shares from Swiss banks UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance — all holding 25 percent each — to strengthen its position as a provider of core infrastructure services for banks.

“The initiative for the acquisition came from both companies,” Hans Joachim Michel, CEO of SECB Swiss Euro Clearing Bank GmbH, said in a press release. “In many respects we see ourselves as a payments service provider with a banking license.”

The parties all agreed not to reveal the purchase price, but SIX said that the deal should close by the end of 2018, pending regulatory approvals.

“In line with the strategy that SIX is pursuing, our acquisition of the shares in SECB offers us the opportunity to maximize the benefits for the Swiss financial center,” said SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof. “We intend to expand the client base and the product portfolio. This will underpin our efforts to strengthen the positioning of SIX as a provider of core infrastructure services for banks, and ultimately for the entire Swiss financial center. In that way we will also strengthen the competitiveness of the Swiss financial center.”

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