(Zurich) The merger between UBS and its rival Credit Suisse presents massive integration risks, the president of Switzerland’s largest bank admitted on Wednesday, which explains the recall of Sergio Ermotti to his former position as chief executive.

“ There is an enormous amount of risk in the integration of these two companies ”, warned Colm Kelleher, the president of UBS during a press conference in Zurich.

“This is the largest transaction since 2008” and the major consolidations that followed the financial crisis, he insisted, explaining that the scope of this takeover is even greater insofar as it is “the first times” that two globally systemically important banks merge.

“This brings significant implementation risks,” he insisted.

Faced with “ this massive integration exercise ”, the board of directors estimated that Sergio Emotti, who had already led the bank for nine years, will be “ the best pilot ”.

Dutchman Ralph Hamers, who took over UBS at the end of 2020 from Sergio Ermotti, will step down from his post to make way for this seasoned Swiss banker who had since taken over the presidency of the reinsurer Swiss Re.

Mr. Ermotti will again take over as CEO on April 5, following UBS’s annual general meeting.

The 62-year-old previously led UBS from 2011 to 2020 and turned the bank around when it was rocked by the turmoil of the financial crisis and scandals, including the losses of a rogue broker.

Mr. Ermotti explained that it was “ a sense of duty ” that led him to return to UBS as the bank was forced to join Credit Suisse after the forced takeover by the authorities.

“Our number one priority is to stabilize the situation,” assured the president of UBS.