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Swiss economists question UBS takeover of Credit Suisse in survey

ZURICH, March 31 (Reuters) – A survey of Swiss economists found nearly half believe the takeover of Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) by UBS (UBSG.S) was not the best solution, it warned Granting that the saga has tarnished Switzerland’s reputation. Banking Center.

Switzerland’s KOF Economic Research Institute found that 48% of 167 university economists questioned would prefer a state takeover and subsequent possible sale of Credit Suisse.

“The advantage of this option would have been that it would not have created a banking giant by Swiss standards and would have maintained the intensity of competition in the Swiss banking market,” the KOF said in a statement on Friday.

“At the same time, however, this state solution would probably create even greater risks for Swiss taxpayers.”

Only 19% of economists in the poll, which was conducted with the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, thought the UBS takeover was the best option, although supporters said it meant financial markets could be stabilized more quickly and Work on restructuring Credit Suisse can begin immediately.

UBS agreed to buy its cross-town Zurich rival Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion) in a deal brokered by the Swiss government, central bank and market regulator to avoid a recession in the country’s financial system.

But the forced deal, which was also designed to help secure financial stability globally during a period of turmoil, was criticized by critics for the size of a new bank with $1.6 trillion in assets and more than 120,000 employees. worried about.

In Switzerland, the public and politicians have also expressed concern about the level of government support, with liquidity and guarantees of around 260 billion Swiss francs by the government and the Swiss National Bank.

Credit Suisse’s restructuring under ‘too big to fail’ rules was favored by 28% of respondents. This would have meant saving Credit Suisse’s systemically important Swiss business and restructuring or wounding up the international part.

The remaining 6% of respondents favored other options, including a takeover by a foreign bank, or a pledge of massive support from the SNB to support Credit Suisse.

Three quarters of economists considered the acquisition a good deal for UBS, while only 12% considered it a disadvantage.

Still, coming out of the crisis has undermined confidence in the Swiss financial centre, with 80% of economists saying the country’s international reputation has been damaged.

The poll follows a poll by GFS Bern which showed 54% of the public disagreed with the takeover, while 35% supported it.

The GFS Bern survey said some 40% of the public thought a temporary state takeover of Credit Suisse would be a better solution. But 51% thought a controlled bankruptcy of the bank was a worse outcome than the UBS deal.

($1 = 0.9170 Swiss Franc)

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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