SIX signed a purchase agreement on 3 September 2018 to increase its stake in the German firm Swiss Euro Clearing Bank GmbH from 25% to 100%. With the complete acquisition of SECB, SIX will strengthen its position as a provider of core infrastructure services for banks. The parties agreed not to disclose the acquisition price. Implementation of the agreement is dependent on supervisory approvals. The aim is to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2018.
SIX has held a 25% stake in SECB (Swiss Euro Clearing Bank GmbH) since 1999. The other shareholders are the Swiss banks UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance, each with a 25% holding. SIX, in its capacity as the core infrastructure service provider of the Swiss financial center, is SECB’s largest client.
The purpose of SECB’s business is to provide the connection to the main euro clearing systems and to process payment transactions in euros, primarily for banks and financial institutions in Switzerland and Liechtenstein but also in other countries.
In its role as a payments bank for banks, SECB acts as a correspondent bank for these institutions, but at the same time, as the manager of the euroSIC system operated in Switzerland by SIX, it is tasked with supervising and monitoring the system. In addition, it acts as a liquidity manager for the system and as a settlement agent for the system participants.
“The initiative for the acquisition came from both companies,” says Hans Joachim Michel, CEO of SECB Swiss Euro Clearing Bank GmbH. “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.
SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof: “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. In that way we will also strenghten the competitiveness of the Swiss financial center.”