Swiss regulator aims to draw lessons from Credit Suisse debacle

Swiss regulator aims to draw lessons from Credit Suisse debacle

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Switzerland’s banking regulator said Wednesday it would draw lessons from the meltdown of Credit Suisse, as it published its annual assessment of emergency contingencies at systemically-important Swiss financial institutions.

Credit Suisse imploded last month amid market panic around the viability of the crisis-wracked banking giant following the collapse of three US regional lenders.

Over a nervy weekend, the Swiss authorities organised an emergency rescue, pressuring Switzerland’s largest bank UBS to agree on 19 March to a US$3.25-billion takeover of its closest domestic rival.

Justifying the move to parliament earlier this month, Swiss President Alain Berset said that “without intervention, Credit Suisse would have found itself, in all likelihood, in default”.

“It is clear that there are important lessons to be learned from the Credit Suisse crisis for future crisis preparations,” Urban Angehrn, head of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), said in a statement.

Angehrn suggested plans put in place to shore up systemically-important institutions following the 2008 financial crisis, which increased capital and liquidity requirements, helped stave off catastrophe.

“The events surrounding Credit Suisse show how important it is to make concrete preparations for crises,” he said.

“This meant that the authorities had options on the table with the restructuring plan and with the emergency plan that simply did not exist 10 years ago,” he said, acknowledging that “important lessons” remained to be learned.

His comments came as the regulator released its annual assessment of recovery and resolution planning by systemically-important institutions in Switzerland.

The list includes both UBS and Credit Suisse, plus PostFinance, Raiffeisen Bank and the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB).

FINMA stressed that the institutions had submitted their emergency planning documents in mid-2022, which was assessed as it stood at the end of last year.

This means that the events surrounding Credit Suisse this year were not included in FINMA’s current report.

“However, these events will be taken into account in the future as the institutions continue to develop their recovery and resolution planning,” it said.

All of Credit Suisse’s emergency planning last year received a green light from FINMA, the report showed.


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