Credit Suisse, new Swiss executive meeting

Possible UBS deal today. Workers: “Employment-saving task force urgently needed”

New meeting of the Swiss Federal Council this morning to discuss UBS bailout of Credit Suisse. No official comment from the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) but from the Swiss media we learn that the members of the executive met at the Bernerhof, headquarters of the FDF.

UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse is expected to close today. According to sources close to the matter cited by the Financial Times, a solution would be worked on before the opening of tomorrow’s markets. Switzerland is planning contingency measures for an eventual takeover with the aim of speeding up the rescue, also according to the Ft.

A task force to safeguard jobs is urgently needed. This is what the Swiss Association of Bank Employees (ASIB) urges, fearing severe restructuring in the possible acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS.

For the trade union, the business unit should include representatives from the employer, the personnel committee and employee associations. Other stakeholders, whether they are other banks, the Swiss National Bank or the Confederation, are also invited to participate. The association is therefore asking to be involved in the negotiations, fearing higher job cuts than announced last autumn during the strategic reorientation of Credit Suisse. Last October, Credit Suisse announced it would cut around 9,000 jobs globally, out of a total of around 52,000.

The solution for Credit Suisse should be a “three-part” unpacking. This is what the American economist Nouriel Roubini underlines in an interview with the ‘SonntagsZeitung’.

“Credit Suisse is too big,” he noted, adding that “if the bank needed a full bailout, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) wouldn’t have enough cash to do it.” Roubini fears the investment bank’s weaknesses could hurt the other two functioning parties. “The sooner the bank is split or sold, the better,” he says. Switzerland’s first concern, in his view, should be to ensure a strong Credit Suisse commercial bank.

The problem of too-big-to-fail banks affects the entire banking landscape. “The solution lies in institutions that aren’t too big to sink,” he says. “In the US, Europe and Switzerland we have a banking glut with giants that can’t be rescued, but also don’t have to sink. This problem hasn’t been solved yet,” he concludes.