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UBS Chairman: The biggest risk is IT CS – News

UBS Chairman: The biggest risk is IT CS – News

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Sergio Ermotti speaks at a conference about the difficulties in merging Credit Suisse. However, the UBS boss remains hesitant about the numbers on job cuts.

The merger of Credit Suisse (CS) into UBS is well underway. Sergio Ermotti, President of UBS, commented on this matter yesterday at a conference organized by the London Stock Exchange and Reuters and also mentioned the risks. The thing that causes him the most headache is CS IT integration.

According to Ermotti, the main difficulty is transferring CS client data to the UBS platform. “UBS doesn't want to acquire all 3,000 IT applications from computer science, but only about 300 of them,” says Charlotte Jacquemart, business editor at SRF. “They want to minimize risk, but this is a huge exercise.”

Despite the IT problems, the head of UBS was confident yesterday: the biggest risk is delay, not failure, in implementing the IT project. Ermotti announced at the conference that everything should be moved by the end of 2025 or the beginning of 2026. The plan is to shut down all CS systems in 2026.

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The integration of CS IT is what bothers the UBS chief most.

Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

However, according to Ermotti, the delay should not matter much to customers. Most importantly, account transfers go smoothly. “For UBS, it is clear: the longer the whole thing takes, the higher the costs because the desired synergies are not activated until later,” Jacquemart says.

UBS and CS share the same values

The head of UBS pointed to the second major risk as many supervisory authorities are present in more than 50 countries around the world. They must all agree to the merger. Ermotti hopes this will be the case by the end of May.

IT problems aside, computer science integration is going well – very well, in fact, as Ermotti announced just last week when publishing the quarterly results. In response to a question, he said that this also applies to “cultural” integration.

There is not much difference between the former Credit Suisse and UBS. They have common ground in many areas and share the same values ​​and ideas about how to do business.

Sergio Ermotti at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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“The longer the whole thing takes, the higher the costs,” says Sergio Ermotti, head of UBS, about the Credit Suisse integration.

Keystone / Laurent Gilleron

There are no precise numbers for job cuts

The UBS boss was cautious on the topic of job cuts and did not provide any exact numbers. The Financial Times recently wrote that UBS management was planning to have a total workforce of 85,000 employees after the integration ends. At the end of 2022 – before the acquisition – there were a total of about 123,000 at UBS and CS.

Ermotti said the workforce will certainly be reduced, but not immediately. But the goal is to reduce “active layoffs.” He indicated fluctuations or retirement.

When he leaves in a few years, the UBS chairman wants to present a suitable CEO candidate. Ermotti said his successor is not a priority at the moment. But it is important to have a list of suitable candidates – with different characteristics. Because depending on the time and circumstances, a different person could be the best fit.

Ermotti confirmed previous statements that he would remain in his position at least until the Credit Suisse merger was completed. This is what was agreed upon with the Board of Directors. So that will be until the end of 2026 or during 2027.