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A Credit Suisse, UBS Merger Would Create Global Banking Powerhouse

But a possible combination in 2021 would likely not affect UBS's North American advisors, industry analysts said.

The possibility of a merger between Swiss megabanks Credit Suisse and UBS in 2021, reported by Swiss finance blog Inside Paradeplatz on Monday, should be of little concern to the more than 6,000 financial advisors who work in UBS’s North American wealth management unit. Industry analysts downplayed the effects such a merger might have on UBS Global Wealth Management Americas.

Alois Pirker, an analyst with Aite Group in Boston, told the move would consolidate the two firms in Europe and Asia and create a “global wealth management powerhouse,” as most U.S. firms are not major global players.

Further, he said, UBS’s North American unit, which operates more or less as a separate business within UBS, would remain largely unaffected.

Bloomberg reported the idea of merging with Credit Suisse was part of a routine internal planning project by UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber and has been shared only with consultants.

Nonetheless, shares of UBS and Credit Suisse had risen almost 2% and 4%, respectively, by late afternoon.

Greg O’Gara, formerly of Aite and now an independent analyst, added that UBS’s Americas wealth advisors could see more in the way of product offerings and research through Credit Suisse’s investment bank platform given a merger.

In addition, O’Gara said, UBS’s Americas wealth business could give Credit Suisse a stronger private banking foothold in the U.S. and enhance its ability to compete in the private banking market, which is dominated by others like Goldman Sachs.

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