Swiss Post, UBS Launch Credit Services

The Swiss state-owned postal services on Friday announced a deal with the biggest bank in the country, UBS, to provide credit services to clients. The post office had originally wanted to create its own Postbank but this ran into heavy opposition in parliament and the government had to withdraw a proposal to create such a bank. The post office said in a statement the deal would allow it to stick to its profitable core activity of payment transactions – post cheques and payment cards – while being able to offer credit to its private and business clients. From May 2003, UBS will be responsible for risk and capital management as well as for the refinancing. The post office has over two million retail clients. It said it expected the agreement with UBS to boost profits from its credit activities by 10 million Swiss francs [US$5.88 million] per year in the period to 2008 while cross-selling is seen adding a further 10 to 20 million to profits. These profits will allow the Post Office to keep open some threatened branches, while the banking activities will also generate more client visits to these offices at a time that UBS is rationalising its Swiss retail network and no longer has an office in every town. UBS and the post office have had a limited partnership since 1997

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