Swiss financial regulator increasing staff supervising UBS - newspaper

Swiss financial regulator increasing staff supervising UBS - newspaper

Swiss financial regulator FINMA is increasing the number of specialists overseeing UBS (UBSG.S) following its takeover of Credit Suisse, FINMA Chair Marlene Amstad said.Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Stephen Coates

FINMA, which has come under fire for failing to act swifter or more effectively during the Credit Suisse crisis, is increasing its focus on Switzerland's remaining globally systemically important bank.

"UBS will become even bigger and more important for the financial centre, so we need a very big focus on the merged major bank," Amstad told newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung in an interview.

"We have reorganized the teams and are deploying more than 20 employees directly to UBS supervision. Indirectly, i.e. in specialist departments, in addition at least 20 people are heavily involved with UBS."

The authority was also considering adding further specialists in future, she added.

FINMA had previously assigned six specialists each to UBS and Credit Suisse, the newspaper reported, drawing criticism that it was not able to properly oversee their activities.

Supervision of UBS is particularly crucial after the rescue created a Swiss banking and wealth management giant with a $1.6 trillion balance sheet - twice the size of Switzerland' entire economic output.

Amstad also said she was not to blame for the departure of FINMA CEO Urban Angerhn, who resigned earlier this month citing stress.

"The high and long-term exposure had health consequences for Urban Angehrn. He made a rational decision and resigned. We on the board of directors and the management very much regret this step," Amstad told the newspaper.

A search for a successor to Angehrn was now underway, she said, with Deputy CEO Birgit Rutishauser acting as CEO from Oct. 1.

"We have an excellent interim solution with Birgit Rutishauser," Amstad said. "Our management is strong and fully functional. So we can approach the search for a new director carefully."