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Former Swiss finance minister defends role in Credit Suisse collapse

2024.02.04 12:14


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer attends a information convention in Vienna, Austria, August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – A brief nationalisation was by no means a sensible choice for embattled Swiss lender Credit Suisse, former finance minister Ueli Maurer instructed Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, defending his response to the Swiss banking disaster.

“The state would suddenly have to run a globally active bank that is dirty everywhere and involved in legal cases. How would that work?” Maurer mentioned of an choice reported to be favoured by the central financial institution.

Maurer has confronted criticism for his hands-off dealing with of Credit Suisse in the lead as much as the Swiss financial institution’s downfall and for saying in December 2022 that it merely wanted to be left alone for a 12 months or two.

Credit Suisse was taken over by UBS final June to forge a Swiss banking and wealth administration large with a $1.6 trillion steadiness sheet.

“There was a chance that Credit Suisse could have solved this on its own,” Maurer mentioned of the troubled financial institution’s issues, including that duty for a financial institution first lies with administration, then the board of administrators, the auditors, the monetary regulator and the Swiss National Bank.

Maurer, who was finance minister till his retirement on the finish of 2022, mentioned it was unlikely {that a} chapter would have occurred and that “UBS got a good deal”.

“The bank (Credit Suisse) had so much equity that it was clear there was interest from third parties,” he mentioned.

Maurer additionally mentioned he would nonetheless like Switzerland to have two giant banks, however that the last word resolution, the takeover by UBS, was the best choice.

“I doubt whether it would have been better to keep Credit Suisse as an independent bank in this situation and with this history,” he mentioned.

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