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UBS, Credit Suisse "won't go bust"

Both the president and the economics minister made clear on Thursday that the country's two biggest banks would not be allowed to go bankrupt.

"We in no way would want one of our big banks to find itself a serious crisis that might lead to bankruptcy," Economics Minister Doris Leuthard told German-language Swiss radio. "The federal government would absolutely prevent that."

The message is a signal to critics who have clamoured for more information on any potential emergency measures the Swiss government might deploy as a result of the global financial crisis.

On a popular television news show, Couchepin was asked why the government had done nothing while other countries were introducing rescue packages and increasing guarantees on deposits.

"Why should we when it's not necessary?" he replied, adding that the government would step in if needed.

He said the main priority is to re-establish trust in banks and that state intervention could have the opposite effect.


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