Swiss Parliament Gives Green Light to Credit Suisse Commission of Enquiry

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Switzerland’s two chambers of parliament have now formally approved the setting up of a parliamentary enquiry committee, a powerful political instrument to investigate the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by its rival UBS.

After support from the government last week, the Senate on Thursday followed the House of Representatives in backing a move to set up an enquiry committee to shed light on the circumstances that led to the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS and to clarify responsibilities.

Senators approved the decision by 37 votes against 5. This follows a unanimous vote by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

A parliamentary enquiry committee is the Swiss parliament’s most powerful investigative instrument. This will be only the fifth in history.

Several parliamentary committees and political parties have demanded answers about the near-collapse and emergency takeover of Switzerland’s second largest bank by rival UBS, which has shaken confidence in the Swiss banking system.

The enquiry committee, which will have a CHF5 million budget, will be composed of seven members from each chamber to ensure each parliamentary group is represented. It will have a wide remit to decide on the extent of the investigations and duration, possibly at least 12 months. The government says it will cooperate fully with the committee.

Switzerland’s biggest bank agreed on March 19 to pay CHF3 billion ($3.37 billion) and assume up to CHF5 billion in losses for its smaller Swiss rival after a collapse in customer confidence brought it to the brink of collapse, prompting the Swiss authorities to act to stave off a broader banking crisis.

Source : SwissInfo