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Probe of financial watchdog ordered

Parliament has ordered the cabinet to investigate the behaviour of the country's financial regulator during the global financial crisis.

Two independent experts will investigate what the finance ministry called the deficiencies of the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). They will also study a September 14 report released by Finma on its own performance, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Finma said the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, a supervisory body that is now part of Finma, did not recognise "in time the origins of the [financial] crisis or the full extent of the dangers it posed".

Another key area the experts will probe is Finma's handling of bank UBS, which has accumulated billions in losses and was rescued by the Swiss government in October 2008.

The experts are Hans Geiger, a retired Zurich University economics professor and David Green, an advisor to the Financial Reporting Council, Britain's corporate governance regulator.

They are expected to finish their work by March 2010. and agencies