Thanasis Gavos, London

Swiss bank UBS has begun discussions to buy all or part of Credit Suisse, the Financial Times can reveal.

As the British financial newspaper writes citing multiple sources, the boards of directors of the two banks will have separate meetings at the weekend to study the facts of such a development.

The talks are being coordinated by the Swiss National Bank and the relevant regulator Finma in a bid to boost shaky confidence in the country’s banking system.

Their intervention comes after the Swiss central bank provided an emergency credit line of 50 billion francs to Credit Suisse, a move that failed to stem a fall in the latter’s share price.

UBS’s market value is $56.6 billion, while Credit Suisse shares closed Friday at a total value of $8 billion.

Swiss regulators have told their counterparts in the US and UK that a merger of the two banks is “plan A”, an FT source said.

At the same time, UBS is considering the potential risk of such a move to its own credibility, while possible regulatory restrictions in different national jurisdictions are being studied.

The emphasis from the central bank is on a “simple and clear solution” before the markets open on Monday, but there is no guarantee that the deal will be closed, adds the British newspaper.