UBS completes Credit Suisse takeover; Hacking group puts stolen Santander data up for sale | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

UBS completed its takeover of Credit Suisse on Friday
, marking the formal end of one of Switzerland’s long-standing financial institutions.

UBS agreed in March 2023 to buy its stricken rival Credit Suisse for $3.25bn in a rescue deal orchestrated by Swiss authorities to avert the spread of a banking crisis across global financial markets.

The merger’s conclusion allows UBS to move forward with more complex integration tasks such as combining IT systems, client migration and cutting its enlarged workforce of more than 110,000 employees. 

UBS agreed in March 2023 to buy its stricken rival Credit Suisse for $3.25bn in a rescue deal orchestrated by Swiss authorities to avert the spread of a banking crisis across global financial markets.

In a statement, UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said the completed merger will “unlock the next phase of cost, capital, funding and tax benefits from the second half of 2024”.

The consolidation leaves Switzerland with a single global bank with a balance sheet double the size of the nation’s annual gross domestic product, which has raised concerns among regulators about the potential risks associated with a “too big to fail” institution. In response, the Swiss government is crafting measures to mitigate these risks. 

The completion of the takeover follows a restructuring of UBS’s executive board to better manage wealth management responsibilities and prepare for a leadership succession

UBS plans to transition to a single US intermediate holding company by June 7, with the merger of Credit Suisse Switzerland and UBS Switzerland expected in the third quarter of 2024.

Hackers claiming to have breached Santander are attempting to sell confidential information belonging to millions of the bank’s customers and staff. 

In an advert on a hacking forum, a group called ShinyHunters, which also recently targeted Ticketmaster, is offering data including the bank account details of 30mn customers, the numbers for 28mn credit cards, balances for 6mn accounts and the personal information of Santander staff members. 

Santander has not commented on the accuracy of the hacking group’s claims.

In mid-May, Santander disclosed a data-breach involving one of its databases hosted by a third-party provider, affecting customers in Chile, Spain and Uruguay.

“No transactional data, nor any credentials that would allow transactions to take place on accounts are contained in the database, including online banking details and passwords,” the bank said in the statement. “The bank’s operations and systems are not affected, so customers can continue to transact securely.” 

ShinyHunters is offering the data for $2mn in a one-time sale and adds in their forum post: “Santander is also very welcome if they want to buy this data.”

Digital bank Monzo has broken even for the first time, reporting a pre-tax profit of £15.4mn for the year ending March
, up from the £116.3mn loss it reported the previous year.

The UK-based lender, founded in 2015, saw revenue more than double for the period, with net interest income growing by 167 per cent to £438mn on the back of higher interest rates. Revenues from subscription plans and transaction fees rose while spending abroad dropped. 

Monzo is gearing up for an expansion into European markets, starting with Ireland, following its successful £489.5mn March funding round led by Alphabet’s investment fund CapitalG, which valued the company at over £4bn. The bank is also preparing its second attempt to launch in the US.

Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutor, Alejandro Cabaleiro Armesto, has called for a trial against BBVA and its former chair, Francisco González, over alleged bribery and disclosure of company secrets as part of a probe into alleged corporate espionage.

As reported by Bloomberg, the investigation centres on BBVA’s 2019 hiring of a private investigation agency linked to police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, who is part of a wider probe dating back to 2004.

Villarejo is accused of secretly recording conversations with top businesspeople to blackmail them or destroy their reputations on behalf of other wealthy clients.

González, who was BBVA chair at the time of the agency’s hiring, stepped down in 2019 to protect the bank’s reputation and has denied any wrongdoing. BBVA confirmed hiring the agency but found no evidence of spying, though prosecutors allege the bank paid the agency more than €10mn.

Goldman Sachs is exploring the idea of paying referral bonuses to investment bankers and traders who direct business to its private bank, as part of a plan to grow its money management business. 

As reported by the Financial Times, the plan, still under development, proposes a set formula for calculating these bonuses, shifting from the current discretionary system that rewards employees for collaboration with other business units.

The growth of Goldman’s private bank is central to CEO David Solomon’s efforts to make the company’s business more durable and less reliant on volatile investment banking and trading. Goldman currently has about $2.85tn in assets under supervision in its asset and wealth management division.


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