UBS ends Credit Suisse’s government and central bank protections

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The logos of Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS on March 16, 2023 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Arnd Wiegmann | Getty Images News | Getty Images

UBS on Friday said that it has ended a 9 billion Swiss franc ($10.27 billion) loss protection agreement and a 100 billion Swiss franc publicly liquidity backstop that were put in place by the Swiss government when it took over rival Credit Suisse in March.

UBS said the decision followed a “comprehensive assessment” of Credit Suisse’s non-core assets that were covered by the liquidity support measures.

“These measures, together with the intervention of UBS, contributed to the stabilization of Credit Suisse and financial stability in Switzerland and globally,” UBS said in a statement.

Credit Suisse also fully repaid the emergency liquidity assistance loan of 50 billion Swiss francs to the Swiss National Bank in March, as Credit Suisse teetered after a collapse in shareholder and investor confidence, UBS confirmed.

“These measures, which were created under emergency law to preserve financial stability, will thus cease to exist, and the Confederation and taxpayers will no longer bear any risks arising from these guarantees,” the Swiss government said in a statement Friday.

“Furthermore, the Confederation earned receipts of around CHF 200 million on the guarantees.”

The Swiss Federal Council plans to submit a bill in parliament to introduce a public liquidity backstop (PLB) under ordinary law, while work continues on a “comprehensive review of the too-big-to-fail regulatory framework.”

The 9 billion Swiss franc LPA was intended to insure UBS on losses above 5 billion Swiss francs following the takeover, which was brokered over a frenetic weekend in March amid talks with the Swiss government, the SNB and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

“After reviewing all assets covered by the LPA since the closing in June and taking the appropriate fair value adjustments, UBS has concluded that the LPA is no longer required,” UBS said.

“Therefore, UBS has given notice of voluntary termination effective 11 August 2023. UBS pays a total of CHF 40 million to compensate the Swiss Confederation for the establishment of the LPA.”

The 100 billion Swiss franc public liability backstop was established on March 19 by the Swiss government and allowed the SNB to provide liquidity support to Credit Suisse if needed, underwritten by a federal default guarantee.

UBS confirmed on Friday that all loans drawn under the PLB were fully repaid by Credit Suisse by the end of May, and that the group had terminated the PLB agreement after a review of its funding situation.

“Through 31 July 2023, Credit Suisse expensed a commitment fee and a risk premium totaling CHF 214 million, including approximately CHF 61 million to the SNB and CHF 153 million to the Swiss Confederation,” UBS added.

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