UBS AG plans to apply for U.S. holding company status as part of a move to expand in the United States, its chief executive in the Americas, Richard Capone, said in an interview Thursday.
In a related move this week, UBS filed a regulatory application with the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting authorization to list and trade its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Capone said the Swiss bank and its investment banking unit, Warburg Dillon Read, are interested in bolstering their private banking and asset-gathering operations and adding to their already large capital markets activities in North America.
Passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed barriers between banking and other financial services, simplified operations for UBS. The company was allowed to run both commercial and investment banking operations in the United States under the International Banking Act of 1978 but not to make any major acquisitions in either sector.
However, the financial reform act also obliged banks wishing to engage in a broader range of financial activities to set up U.S. holding companies, which will be subject to supervision by the Federal Reserve Board.
He said the move will give UBS the "currency" it needs to buy U.S. institutions.