UBS Transfers Assets to Swiss Unit to Meet Regulatory Demands

UBS Group AG plans to transfer assets and operations into a new Swiss unit on June 14 to meet regulatory demands to make the company easier to break up in a crisis.

UBS Switzerland AG will house the bank’s retail, corporate and wealth management businesses booked in the country, Zurich-based UBS said in a statement Tuesday. The transfer date may be deferred, UBS said.

The establishment of the Swiss unit is part of wider changes in the bank’s legal structure designed to prevent UBS from needing another bailout. The Swiss government shored up the bank in 2008 after it was battered by losses on securities linked to U.S. subprime mortgages. Since then, regulators have sought to contain damage from the collapse of large, cross-border banks by curtailing legal ties between units.

UBS last year set up a group holding company, and also plans to establish an intermediate holding company for most of its U.S. operations. In the U.K., the bank is changing its operating model to allow that unit to bear more of the risks and rewards of its business. Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, is implementing similar changes.

UBS has said that the Swiss unit will have about 300 billion francs in assets and will have joint liability for about 310 billion francs of obligations of UBS AG. Neither unit will have any liability for new obligations incurred by the other entity after the asset transfer date.

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