In a 37-5 vote, the senators approved a commission to investigate how Swiss authorities handled the process of UBS’s takeover of the bank.
Swiss senators on Thursday approved the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry, extremely rare in the country, to clarify how the authorities handled the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS.
The senators voted in favor of the commission by 37 votes to five, as the deputies had already done on Wednesday, this time unanimously.
This commission intends to evaluate “the legality, opportunity and effectiveness of the activities” of the Swiss authorities in the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS, with the aim of informing the two chambers about the responsibilities and the “gaps observed at the institutional level ” .
To avoid the bankruptcy of the country’s second largest bank, the Swiss authorities arranged the takeover by UBS under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the central bank and Finma, the financial supervisory authority.
On March 19, UBS agreed to buy the rival for 3 billion Swiss francs (equivalent in euros), subject to guarantees from the Confederation.
The investigative commission will be made up of 14 members, representing deputies and senators in equal parts. He will make sure to represent all the major parties. A budget of 5 million francs will be assigned to him to carry out his works.
On Friday, the Government said that it gave “total support” to this commission, considering it “useful and necessary to evaluate in detail” the events that gave rise to this emergency rescue.
Parliamentary commissions of inquiry are extremely rare in Switzerland, this being only the fifth in the Parliament’s history.
The last parliamentary commission of inquiry dates back to 1995 and had the objective of investigating failures related to the Caixa Federal de Pensões, the basis of the reform system.
This is the “most powerful” tool at Parliament’s disposal, which “authorizes it, among other things, to consult the confidential acts of the Federal Council and to carry out real interrogations with senior officials”, observes the Swiss daily Le Temps.
Credit Suisse’s merger with UBS, scheduled to close on June 12, raises concerns in Switzerland about employment, competition and the bank’s weight relative to the size of the Swiss economy.
To facilitate the acquisition, around 259 billion francs were made available, including guarantees from the Confederation and liquidity provided by the central bank.