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Parliament to hold extraordinary session on Credit Suisse takeover

Lawmakers inside the Swiss House of Representatives
Several lawmakers have expressed the need for parliament to have a say in the government decision last Sunday to free up billions of francs to ensure liquidity for the merged banks. Keystone / Anthony Anex

Over a quarter of the members of Switzerland’s House of Representatives have requested – and now obtained – an extraordinary session to discuss the government-backed purchase of Credit Suisse by rival bank UBS.

The session will take place during the sitting of parliament that begins on April 11, the parliamentary services office announced on Tuesday. While details are still to be worked out, the session will begin in the Senate.

Most of the major parties across the political spectrum – the Social Democrats, the Radical-Liberals, the Centre and the Green Party – had expressed the urgent need to hold an extraordinary debate.

+ How the political parties reacted to the rescue merger

Under the deal agreed on Sunday for UBS to buy up Credit Suisse, the Swiss National Bank will print up to CHF100 billion ($108 billion) to ensure enough liquidity for the merged banks. The government also agreed to absorb up to CHF9 billion of potential UBS losses.

Several lawmakers expressed the need for parliament to have a say in such an important decision. According to parliamentary regulations, if an urgent public commitment exceeds CHF500 million, just a quarter of members of one of the houses can request that an extraordinary session be held.

Among the questions lawmakers plan to raise is whether a parliamentary commission of inquiry should convene to determine who should be held responsible for the collapse of the country’s second-largest bank, an idea that the Radicals and some on the left support, but which could prove difficult to set up.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR