Hong Kong’s financial regulators on Monday reassured Credit Suisse customers that it would be business as usual after the trouble Swiss lender’s overnight takeover by rival UBS, adding that the local banking sector’s exposure to the institution was “insignificant”.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission welcomed the news of the takeover, which was announced by Swiss regulators in the early hours of Monday.
The local regulators said Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong branch had total assets of about HK$100 billion, representing less than half of one percent of the banking sector’s total assets.
“The exposures of the local banking sector to Credit Suisse are insignificant,” the regulators said. “The Hong Kong banking sector is resilient with strong capital and liquidity positions.”
The statement said Credit Suisse’s operations in Hong Kong comprised a branch supervised by the HKMA and two licensed corporations under SFC supervision.
“All of them will open for business today as usual,” the statement added. “Customers can continue to access their deposits with the branch and trading services provided by Credit Suisse for Hong Kong's stock and derivatives markets.”
In the securities markets, the regulators said Credit Suisse was not among the top 10 active brokers. It was the ninth largest issuer of structured products, taking four percent of the total market.
“Their overall exposures to the Hong Kong market are not significant,” the statement added.
The regulators said they would continue to stay in touch with the Swiss authorities and monitor the financial markets.
Credit Suisse's Hong Kong operations are based in the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon. It's not clear how many of the bank's 47,000 employees worldwide are in the SAR.
Swiss regulators were forced to step in and set up a takeover to prevent a crisis of confidence in Credit Suisse spilling over into the broader financial system. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2023.
The effect on jobs was not immediately clear. UBS said it expected annual cost savings of some US$7 billion by 2027. (Additional reporting by Reuters)