One of Switzerland’s two global banks was conspicuously absent from the Innovation in Finance conference in April at the Dolder Grand, a castlelike hotel overlooking Zurich.
Bloomberg News reports that Credit Suisse sponsored the event. That meant no one from UBS was invited to speak. Instead, bankers from firms that don’t compete with Credit Suisse in private banking took the stage.
UBS and Credit Suisse, with business operations spanning the globe and headquarters a few blocks apart in Zurich, have long been fierce rivals. Before the 2008 financial crisis, when investment banking was still in vogue, both would lay claim to being top dog in Switzerland, using different league tables to make their case.
Since taking over in 2011, UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti has scaled back investment banking, while Credit Suisse has clung to a bigger trading business. Meanwhile, the end of Swiss bank secrecy, for decades a magnet for billions of dollars and a source of profit for both banks, has eroded margins.
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