Swiss banks go beyond Basel

Marion Dakers
SWISS regulators will ask UBS and Credit Suisse to go above and beyond the Basel III banking rules this week, according to reports yesterday.

A commission of experts looking at whether the banks are still too big to fail will publish a report on Thursday proposing Switzerland’s two largest banks should hold core capital of around 12 per cent, up to five per cent more than their European peers.

The commission could make its recommendations public as early as today, according to a local newspaper, while the Swiss government is expected to discuss the proposals on Friday.

The Basel III rules require banks to hold core Tier 1 capital worth at least 4.5 per cent of total assets, plus another 2.5 per cent as a buffer against financial shocks. However, the central Swiss National Bank said earlier this month that the new global regulations did not go far enough.

Credit Suisse and UBS have historically been bound by domestic rules requiring an extra layer of capital, and held 11.4 and 13 per cent in core Tier 1 capital respectively at the end of June.

UK spokespeople for UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment yesterday.