- By Kathryn Armstrong
- BBC News
Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS, is reportedly in advanced talks to buy all or part of its struggling rival, Credit Suisse.
Shares of Credit Suisse have fallen sharply in recent days after it said it found “material weakness” in its financial reports.
A $54bn (£44.5bn) emergency lifeline from the Swiss National Bank did not solve the problem.
Regulators are trying to facilitate a deal before markets reopen on Monday.
There are fears that shares of Credit Suisse could continue to fall, having fallen 24% on Wednesday.
This prompted a sell-off in European markets and fears of a wider financial crisis.
The Swiss government held an emergency meeting on Saturday evening, but so far there has been no official statement on the status of negotiations.
UBS has reportedly asked the Swiss government to cover around $6bn (£4.9bn) in costs if it were to buy Credit Suisse, sources quoted by Reuters said.
Any agreement can also lead to significant job losses.
The problems coincided with the bankruptcy of two lenders in the United States – Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank – raising fears about the health of the banking system
Credit Suisse, founded in 1856, has faced a series of scandals in recent years, including accusations of money laundering.
It reported a loss of 7.3bn Swiss francs ($7.9bn; £6.5bn) in 2022 – its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis – and warned it is not s expect to be profitable before 2024.
UBS, however, made a profit of $7.6 billion in 2022.
In addition to being a national bank with 95 branches, Credit Suisse has a global investment banking business and manages the assets of wealthy clients.
It is one of 30 banks worldwide deemed too big to fail due to their importance to the international banking system.
At the end of last year, Credit Suisse had 50,480 employees worldwide, including 16,700 in Switzerland, although 9,000 jobs were to be cut, Swiss broadcaster SRF reports.