UBS Doesn't Plan to Buy Credit Suisse or U.S. Firms

UBS building in Europe

UBS Group AG doesn’t plan acquisitions in the U.S. “in the foreseeable future” and has no intention to buy Credit Suisse Group AG, the bank’s chairman Colm Kelleher told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

UBS hasn’t yet realized its full potential in the U.S., Kelleher said in an interview published on Saturday. “We need to get our wealth management business up and running and improve our margins there,” he said.

The Swiss lender’s U.S. strategy is in flux after longtime Americas chief Tom Naratil retired, leaving Iqbal Khan to take on global leadership of the wealth management business.

The bank also backed away from acquiring robo-adviser Wealthfront, a deal that was meant to widen its reach to the lower rungs of the wealthy.

Instead, UBS has retrenched, saying it would focus on its traditional very high net worth customer base.

The bank plans to offer more traditional banking services to its wealthy American clients, such as mortgages and loans. Kelleher said he sees “low-hanging fruit” in boosting profitability in the U.S..

“We will not expand the investment bank,” he said, adding that the unit can build on good equities trading but needs to improve its advisory business.