- By Kathryn Armstrong
- BBC News
Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS is in advanced talks to buy all or part of its troubled rival Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse faces a crisis of confidence and its shares have fallen sharply in recent days after it said there was “material weakness” in its financial statements.
The Swiss National Bank’s emergency $54bn (£44.5bn) lifeline did not solve the problem.
Regulators are trying to facilitate a deal before markets reopen on Monday.
After Credit Suisse shares plunged 24% on Wednesday, there are concerns that they could continue to slide.
This prompted a general sell-off in European markets, and fears of a wider financial crisis.
The Swiss government held an emergency meeting on Saturday night, but so far there has been no official statement on the progress of the talks.
UBS is said to have asked the Swiss government to cover the roughly $6bn (£4.9bn) cost of buying Credit Suisse, according to sources cited by Reuters.
Any deal could result in significant job losses.
The problems coincide with the failure of two lenders in the US, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
Credit Suisse, founded in 1856, has faced several scandals in recent years, including allegations of money laundering.
It reported a loss of 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.9bn; £6.5bn) in 2022 – its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis – and warned it would not turn a profit until 2024.
However, UBS projects a profit of $7.6bn in 2022.
In addition to being a domestic bank with 95 branches, Credit Suisse has a global investment banking operation and manages the assets of wealthy clients.
Because of its importance to the international banking system, it is one of only 30 banks worldwide considered too big to fail.
Credit Suisse had 50,480 employees at the end of last year, including 16,700 in Switzerland, although 9,000 jobs will be cut, according to Swiss broadcaster SRF.