Swiss parliament approves new stringent bank rules

16th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swiss lawmakers on Thursday approved new capital requirements for big banks Credit Suisse and UBS, clearing measures which are expected to cost each bank $90 billion to implement.

The upper chamber approved by 36 votes to none the proposals which are aimed at boosting the stability of the financial sector, according to Swiss news agency ATS.

The measures would require the banks to raise their high-quality core common equity -- which can be converted into cash quickly -- to 10 percent of assets, plus hold another nine percent in bonds that could be converted into equity if needed.

The measures are considerably tougher than the Basel III international standards under which banks are to raise their high-quality core common equity to 7.0 percent of assets from the current 2.0 percent.

The lower house of parliament will not take up the government-proposed bill until after the summer break, according to a spokesman.

The measures were proposed by experts last year after a government rescue of UBS during the 2008 global financial crisis.

UBS has criticised the measures which it says will put it at a competitive disadvantage.

Credit Suisse meanwhile has voiced support for the regulations, with its chief executive Brady Dougan declaring that the bank is an "early adopter" of more stringent rules.

© 2011 AFP

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