UBS not looking for partners - chairman tells NZZ am Sonntag

ZURICH, Nov 15 (Reuters) - UBS is not looking for partners, the Swiss bank’s chairman Axel Weber said in an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

The chairmen of Switzerland’s two largest banks UBS and Credit Suisse had supported a merger of equals during discussions reported by Swiss media earlier this year.

Although kept secret, a merger had been considered seriously, receiving the backing of both Weber and Credit Suisse’s Chairman Urs Rohner. But a deal was now considered unlikely.

Weber played down the chances of mergers in the interview with NZZ am Sonntag.

“As chairmen of the two systemically important big banks, Urs Rohner and I regularly discuss many topics, such as regulation,” he said in the article published on Sunday.

“But UBS is not looking for partners - we are strong enough to shape our own future,” he said.

Weber also said UBS could be looking at deals in the future.

“Of course we are not categorically ruling out any takeovers which make sense for our global business model,” Weber said.

The search for his successor to work with recently appointed Chief Executive Ralph Hamers will begin in 2021, he added.

“The plan is to be able to announce the next chairman in time for the AGM 2022,” Weber said. “I am firmly convinced that a new leadership team makes sense for the coming decade.” (Reporting by John Revill. Editing by Jane Merriman)