Swiss financial service provider SIX has agreed to take full ownership in German commercial bank Swiss Euro Clearing Bank (SECB) by acquiring a 75% stake it previously did not own for an undisclosed price.
SIX, which has owned a stake of 25% stake in SECB since 1999, will buy the 75% stake from UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance. The three Swiss banks have stakes of 25% each in SECB.
SIX said that 100% ownership in SECB will help it consolidate its position as a core infrastructure services provider for banks.
SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof said: “In line with the strategy that SIX is pursuing, our acquisition of the shares in SECB offers us the opportunity to maximize the benefits for the Swiss financial center. We intend to expand the client base and the product portfolio.
“This will underpin our efforts to strengthen the positioning of SIX as a provider of core infrastructure services for banks, and ultimately for the entire Swiss financial center.”
SECB provides the connection to the main euro clearing systems and processes payment transactions in euros, mainly for banks and financial institutions across Switzerland, Liechtenstein and in other countries as well.
As a payments bank for banks, SECB works as a correspondent bank for the financial institutions apart from being the manager of the euroSIC system operated by SIX in Switzerland.
The German bank is also responsible for supervising and monitoring the euroSIC system in addition to taking up the role of a liquidity manager for the system and as a settlement agent for the participants of the system.
SECB CEO Hans Joachim Michel said: “The initiative for the acquisition came from both companies. In many respects we see ourselves as a payments service provider with a banking license.
“The interoperability of the two companies underscores the efforts to work together on the market to an even greater extent in the future. SECB will thereby continue on its successful path as an interface for multilateral payments.”
The implementation of the purchase agreement signed for the acquisition will be subject to supervisory approvals and is targeted to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.