Swiss Re fights break-up plans

Walter Kielholz, chairman of insurer Swiss Re, yesterday spoke out against the proposals of Switzerland’s “too big too fail” commission, saying it would be unwise to split up banks. Kielholz, who also sits on the board at Credit Suisse, told a paper that splitting up banks could lead foreign regulators to resort to retaliatory measures, such as preventing dividends from flowing back to Switzerland from abroad. “If we’re forced to divide off certain foreign activities, then the Swiss financial place will take on a totally different meaning,” he said. A Swiss government commission in April recommended large banks change their structure so they could be broken up in the event of an insolvency, thereby limiting the risk to the economy.