January 3, 2019 / 6:34 AM / 5 months ago

UBS chairman pours cold water on Deutsche Bank talk: paper

Christmas decorations are seen at the building of Swiss bank UBS at the Paradeplatz square in Zurich, Switzerland, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) is not looking to merge with any other bank, Chairman Axel Weber told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, dismissing speculation that UBS could join forces with Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE).

“There is a lot of talk in Europe and the United States about mergers but nothing happens. These are all simulation games,” he said in an interview published on Thursday.

Asked specifically about whether UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, was running simulations about Germany’s biggest lender, Weber said: “Every company has to think things over, but it makes little sense to consider mergers at group level now. These paralyze companies for years.

“UBS is much stronger today than before the financial crisis, but combining with another bank — no matter which — would be premature at this moment. We want to grow primarily organically and we surely have to be able to walk before we want to run.”

Weber, a former Bundesbank chief who joined UBS in 2012, said he could imagine remaining in his post until 2022.

Asked how long Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti might stay, he said UBS wanted an orderly leadership transition and was under no pressure to act while it ensured the right talent was in place.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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