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Credit Suisse and Julius Baer in merger talks

img_0206Credit Suisse Group and Julius Baer Group have held talks about a possible merger, according to reports. There have not been any official negotiations and the situation may be re-evaluated if Julius Baer resolves its issues with U.S. tax authorities. Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, has been under pressure to focus more on managing money for the wealthy and reduce its exposure to investment banking. Acquiring Julius Baer, which had 274.2 billion francs ($299 billion) in assets under management at the end of June, would boost Credit Suisse’s wealth management assets to 1.1 trillion francs. Credit Suisse is the fourth-biggest wealth manager by assets and Julius Baer is 12th. Credit Suisse earlier this year paid a fine of $2.6 billion to settle an investigation of helping its clients dodge U.S. taxes. Julius Baer, also based in Zurich, has said it expects to pay a penalty to settle its tax dispute and can’t reliably assess the size of the fine.

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