January 22, 2019 / 11:20 AM / 4 months ago

UBS won't take lead in consolidating European bank sector: Weber

Axel Weber, Chairman of Swiss bank UBS attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland’s UBS Group (UBSG.S) will not take the lead in consolidating a fragmented European bank sector, Chairman Axel Weber said on Tuesday.

“European banks really need to reinvent themselves. There are too many of them. The market needs to consolidate, they are too small at a global level,” he told Bloomberg Television from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“If they really want to be global banks with an investment arm they need to put their houses together.”

But Weber appeared to rule out his bank, Switzerland’s largest lender, from taking part in any mergers in the sector.

“I don’t think UBS will play a role in that because we are having a good run and corporate mergers tie you down for years,” he said.

Weber declined to comment on any interest in Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), saying only: “The one strong thing that banks in Germany have — and Deutsche first and foremost — is a very strong domestic corporate base. You need to leverage that.”

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Revill

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