New rules will make UBS smaller

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) says that new capital requirements will reduce the balance sheet of UBS, Switzerland's largest bank.

This content was published on May 13, 2009 minutes

Executive board member Thomas Jordan, referring to last year's rescue package for UBS, told a panel discussion in Biel that lessons had been learned.

"We want a bank that is clearly smaller," he commented.

UBS was forced to write down about $50 billion (SFr55.14 billion) as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States and was bailed out by the Swiss government and the SNB, the country's central bank.

During the same discussion, the director of the Swiss federal financial administration, Peter Siegenthaler, highlighted the importance of new regulation in the banking sector.

"It is important that the regulator Finma [Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority] adjusts the framework in a way that forces the bank to reduce risks," he said.

Finma has given the banks until 2013 to meet the new rules, which also include a nominal cap on a bank's debt level regardless of the risks involved.

The Swiss government bailed out UBS last year with a SFr6 billion capital injection, while the SNB set up a fund of nearly $40 billion for toxic UBS assets. and Reuters

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