A logo of the Swiss bank UBS is seen on the Paradeplatz in Zurich
A logo of the Swiss bank UBS is seen on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, Switzerland March 21, 2023. Reuters

The Bank of England has approved UBS Group AG's takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG in the United Kingdom, people familiar with the process told Reuters, a key market for the Swiss lenders racing to close the rescue deal.

Reuters could not establish if any conditions have been requested for the approval, which comes less than three weeks since the takeover was announced and reflects the urgency surrounding the transaction.

Change of control approvals by regulators typically can take up to 60 working days to secure in Britain. Representatives for UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

On March 19, just after the deal was announced, the Bank of England said it welcomed "the comprehensive set of actions set out by the Swiss authorities today in order to support financial stability," without elaborating.

UBS needs 58 countries to sign off on the combination that will make Switzerland biggest bank a wealth management giant with more than $3 trillion in assets. The longer the deal takes to close, the harder it could be for Credit Suisse to hold on to its business.

The United Kingdom, where Credit Suisse has $60 billion of risk-weighted assets primarily in its investment banking division, is one of its biggest markets outside of Switzerland.

UBS on Tuesday also secured a temporary green light from European Union antitrust regulators to complete its acquisition of Credit Suisse, but will still have to request clearance under EU merger rules, the European Commission said.

UBS Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers, who will step down on Wednesday after the annual shareholder meeting, told reporters on March 29 that "plans can only partially be developed" because Credit Suisse is still a separate company.

"That's why it's very important that we get the regulators support globally and as soon as possible," he said.

John Glen, chief secretary to the UK Treasury, said last week he did not have any immediate concerns about the execution of Switzerland's Credit Suisse rescue by UBS.

A logo of Credit Suisse is pictured on a building in Geneva
A logo of Credit Suisse is pictured on a building in Geneva, Switzerland, November 8, 2017. Reuters