UBS offers to buy Credit Suisse for $1bn in race the save the bank

UBS has offered to buy Credit Suisse for up to $1bn as Swiss officials race to save the troubled lender.

The all-share deal could be signed as soon as Sunday, the Financial Times reported, though Credit Suisse was reportedly unhappy with the deeply discounted offer.

The Swiss government was said to be planning to change the country’s laws to bypass a shareholder vote on the transaction in a bid to speed it through. Officials are racing to secure a deal before markets open on Monday, fearing another sharp drop in Credit Suisse’s share price.

Swiss officials have turned to UBS to engineer a rescue deal that would keep the bank within national control.

However, UBS is wary about taking on the troubled lender without full knowledge of its business.

Credit Suisse was also said to be unhappy with the takeover offer made by its rival, Bloomberg reported.

UBS is offering 0.25 Swiss francs ($0.27) per Credit Suisse share, well below Friday’s closing price of 1.86 Swiss francs and all but wiping out the bank’s existing shareholders.

Credit Suisse and UBS declined to comment, and the Swiss government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Authorities have been scrambling to rescue the 167-year-old bank, which is among the world’s largest wealth managers.

Credit Suisse shares lost a quarter of their value in the last week and the bank was forced to ask the Swiss National Bank to backstop it with up to £44bn.