(Bloomberg) -- Trading houses in Switzerland are worried that UBS Group AG’s takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG could have a negative impact on their industry. 

Major Swiss banks played a key role in establishing the country as one of the world’s biggest commodities hubs, providing firms with the credit needed to procure, store and transport oil, metals and agricultural products. Recent financial turmoil and the combination of the nation’s two largest banks could restrict those vital services. 

“Genuinely it’s not something we see as a positive at all, anything like this where it impacts the commodity space,” Craig Dean, chief executive officer of major metals trader Gerald Group, said in an interview on Tuesday. “Credit Suisse is a good commodity bank for us and we’re hopeful that they just don’t go away.”

If there is an impact, it will be uneven. The largest independent trading houses have access to internationally diverse financial resources. Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. utilized 140 banks in its 2022 financial year, according to its annual results. 

But smaller players tend to rely on a clutch of key relationships and could potentially receive overlapping services from both banks. In the hubs of Geneva, Zug and Lausanne - Credit Suisse, UBS and the country’s cantonal banks provide a significant chunk of traders’ lines of credit. 

“I’m probably more concerned on the trading side for smaller, niche traders or more generally for SME companies in Switzerland which typically rely on those two banks” Mercuria Group Chief Financial Officer Guillaume Vermersch said at the Financial Times Commodities Summit in Lausanne on Wednesday. “They may be more on the spot in the coming few months.”

Commodity traders aren’t the only ones expressing concern. Chemicals company Clariant AG warned on Tuesday that the UBS-Credit Suisse combination will reduce competition in the nation’s corporate banking services, leading to stronger pricing power in segments not well served by Switzerland’s smaller banks. 

The availability of trade finance had already diminished in recent years as major providers ABN AMRO Bank NV and BNP Paribas SA pulled back from the sector. 

“If you look at the commodity banks in general, over the last five years there’s been a lot of consolidation,” said Dean. “For smaller players it’s probably very difficult if they lose Credit Suisse.”

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.