UBS Chairman hits out at the EU – ‘We are not a European bank, we are a Swiss bank’

Axel Weber, a former policymaker at the European Central Bank (ECB), also criticised central banks for veering away from what he said was their main purpose.

Speaking to CNBC at a meeting of the International Fund and World Bank in the US, Mr Weber said European banks are still struggling to balance profitability while dealing with past financial settlements.

He said: “What I usually say when asked about European banks is that we at UBS are not a European bank, we are a Swiss bank and Switzerland is not part of the EU.

“Switzerland is not part of the Union… we have a totally different relationship here [in the US].”

Mr Weber, who was president of the German Bundesbank between 2004 and 2011, then issued a stark warning to central banks, including the ECB.

He said: “I think central bankers need to be very careful that they do not continue to produce disturbances in the markets, which they acknowledge – it’s a known side effect – but the perception that the underlying impact of monetary policy outweighs the potential side effect in my view is starting to be wrong.”

Mr Weber’s remarks come as German giant Deutsche Bank suffered another stock dip on Monday morning.

The bank is continuing to negotiate with the US Justice Department over a $14billion (£10bn) fine for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities.

Despite the best efforts of chief executive John Cryan, the bank has yet to reach an agreement over a reduction in the fine to the US.

We at UBS are not a European bank, we are a Swiss bank and Switzerland is not part of the EU

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Deutsche Bank hasn’t as yet been able to come to any agreement with the US Justice Department as it looks to overcome the hurdle of the prospect of a rather large fine.

“Talks are continuing while the bank looks at potentially spinning off a stake in its asset management division in order to free up some extra capital.”

Terry Torrison, managing director at McLaren Securities, was quoted by the BBC as saying Deutsche was “never going to sort out the US issues that quickly”.

Towards the end of September, the value of the bank’s shares neared 33-year-lows.

The main cause of concern is that Deutsche Bank’s finances are not sufficient to cope with such a large fine from US authorities.



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