Switzerland Needs Another Major Local Bank, Swatch CEO Says


Nick Hayek, the head of Swatch Group AG, says he regrets the loss of Credit Suisse as it will open Switzerland to more foreign lenders.

The watchmaker is now working more closely with smaller cantonal banks such as Zurcher Kantonalbank, Hayek said in an interview with newspaper SonntagsBlick.

“With the decision to give up the Credit Suisse brand, UBS has now opened the doors to players from abroad. We need at least two banks,” Swatch Group CEO Hayek told the newspaper.

UBS Group AG should have listed Credit Suisse, retained a 30% to 40% ownership and asked major Swiss companies like Swatch, Schindler Holding AG and EMS-Chemie Holding AG to take stakes for the rest, he said.

Still, the UBS takeover of Credit Suisse was the best solution as a bank “with weak leadership would have fallen victim to speculators” according to Hayek.

Hayek said he was pleased that Sergio Ermotti had returned to lead the combined banks as “he is Swiss and understands our culture.”

Source : Bloomberg