UBS has identified several countries, including South Korea, India, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia, as “slow” in granting regulatory approvals required to finalize its takeover of Credit Suisse, according to an internal document dated September 6.
The document, circulated to UBS staff globally, highlights that uncooperative regulators could jeopardize the timeline for the integration of Credit Suisse, potentially impacting other related transactions. The document also suggests that difficulties with regulators in certain jurisdictions could lead to winding down businesses and asset sales.
UBS completed its takeover of Credit Suisse in June but still needs approvals from regulators in countries where both banks operate to legally complete the takeover. The merger of these two global systemically important banks represents both opportunities and risks for UBS. The internal document indicates that the process could be finished as early as May 2024.
In South Korea, the document suggests it may take up to 18 to 22 months to obtain new licenses. In Ireland, the process could take up to two years, while in Saudi Arabia, it could take up to 12 months. For India, the regulator may require a minimum of six months to approve the establishment of a new branch. The document also highlights that obtaining a “change in control” approval in Russia may be politically driven and therefore uncertain.
UBS faces challenges in several jurisdictions due to differing regulations regarding the transfer of assets and liabilities. In seven markets, including Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey, individual transfers are burdensome, time-intensive, and entail the risk of missing consents.
The completion of this historic merger is subject to regulatory approval in multiple jurisdictions, with delays not uncommon in large M&A deals. UBS expects the takeover to be finalized by 2024. Credit Suisse did not comment on the matter, and UBS did not respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for the central banks of South Korea, India, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia also did not respond to requests for comment.