Switzerland may not be in the European Union, but the country’s largest bank is about to become a pioneer in the 28-nation bloc.
UBS is pledging to merge its E.U. operations into a European-wide subsidiary — perhaps based in Frankfurt, Germany’s banking capital, Handelsblatt has learned.
That would make Switzerland’s largest bank, ironically based in a country outside the European Union, the first major financial institution to use new banking rules designed to create a common E.U. market for banking services.
The Swiss bank’s decision marks the clearest signal yet that a major consolidation is afoot in Europe’s financial industry. The introduction of common rules for the 19-nation euro currency zone and the promotion of the European Central Bank as the primary banking supervisor for the continent, have fed speculation that consolidation could be imminent.