25 years ago: When Credit Suisse stole a march on its larger rival UBS

Interesting bit of banking history from Switzerland:

UBS was so sure it had won that it had celebratory champagne cooling. But then Credit Suisse stole a march on its larger rival – a victory which set up today’s face-off between the two Swiss banking giants. 

Twenty-five years ago, Credit Suisse took over Volksbank, then Switzerland’s fourth-largest bank. The smaller lender was vulnerable after becoming ensnared in the collapse of the housing bubble in the 1990s. 

The news followed an artful and bitter takeover battle between two titans, which reads to their rivalry today. Volksbank was also the starting shot of a years-long period of consolidation among Swiss banks, a full five years before UBS’ historic mega-deal with Swiss Bank Corp., as finews.asia reported last month.

Both UBS’ and Credit Suisse’s global standing in private banking and investment banking have their roots in the shake-out to hit Swiss banking in the 1990s.



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