CS takeover by UBS: Cantonal banks, Raiffeisen and PostFinance as possible winners

To what extent does the takeover trigger uncertainty among the population? Which banks will benefit? The market research institute Link now provides answers to these questions.

Recently, it became public that the major Swiss bank Credit Suisse is being taken over by UBS. This raises questions: To what extent has this caused uncertainty among the population? Which banks are benefiting from this takeover? Based on study data on the period before and after the takeover, the market research institute Link provides answers. Population-representative data from two survey waves are used for this purpose: Wave 1 took place shortly before the takeover was communicated, Wave 2 in the week after.

Banks lose ground

Uncertainty about the future of Credit Suisse is reflected in the consideration of the Swiss population. There was a significant drop in the proportion of people in the population who could imagine becoming a Credit Suisse client. In the days before the takeover, the corresponding figure was 10 percent; after the takeover, it was only 5 percent. UBS also lost ground, albeit to a lesser extent, with consideration falling from 33 percent to 27 percent.

A similar picture of consideration can also be seen in the segment of individuals with disposable assets of over CHF 100,000, which is of particular interest to the banks. Here, too, both Credit Suisse (down from 13 % to 8 %) and UBS (down from 40 % to 31 %) recorded losses. Conversely, the competitors with the largest market shares - the cantonal banks, Raiffeisen and PostFinance - have each recorded a slight increase in consideration. These could therefore benefit from the takeover.

The events surrounding the takeover are viewed critically by the majority. A majority of respondents state that they believe the reputation of "Switzerland as a banking center" has been damaged by these events (61 % "agree" / "strongly agree"). Likewise, many respondents agree with the statement that these events demonstrate the need for increased regulation in the financial market. However, the events hardly trigger any fears about their own finances - only 14 percent are worried about this.

Struck brand confidence in Credit Suisse continues to fall

A decline in trust values can also be seen in Link's weekly brand tracking, the Swiss Brand Observer. Due to its continuous measurement (since September 2021), the instrument is suitable, among other things, for recording unforeseen events in connection with the perception of various metrics, such as brand trust or client satisfaction. In the week following the UBS takeover, only around 2 percent of the population perceived Credit Suisse as particularly trustworthy. This value remained at this level one week later. In the week before the takeover, this figure was around 7 percent, and in December 2021 it was still around 16 percent. UBS, on the other hand, lost less trust; overall, however, the trust scores for UBS and other banks over the last two weeks also show a slight downward trend, at best stagnating.

In terms of the so-called "buzz" (which financial service providers have respondents heard something positive or negative about in the news, in conversations with friends & relatives, etc. in the last 7 days), Credit Suisse shows a very strong negative increase, as expected, although the curve has flattened out slightly again in the past week. An increase is also present at UBS, but comparatively at a lower level. The net buzz score (ratio of positive to negative) is significantly better at UBS than at Credit Suisse.


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