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    Swiss Federal Council Amends Capital Adequacy Ordinance

    November 27, 2019

    The Federal Council of Switzerland adopted amendments to the Capital Adequacy Ordinance. The amendments introduce simplifications in the capital and liquidity requirements for certain small banks and securities firms and will ensure that the parent entities of systemically important banks are sufficiently well-capitalized in the event of a crisis. The amendments become effective from January 01, 2020.

    The amendments to the Ordinance simplify the capital and liquidity requirements for small, particularly liquid and well-capitalized Category 4 and Category 5 banks and securities firm. Furthermore, the changes aim to ensure the availability of sufficient gone-concern capital, particularly for parent banks and in the Swiss units that perform systemically important functions. Gone-concern requirements are intended to ensure that a systemically important bank in difficulty can be restructured and wound up in an orderly manner without financial assistance from the state. The Federal Council had already introduced gone-concern capital requirements for UBS and Credit Suisse at consolidated group level in 2016. Since January 01, 2019, such requirements have also been in force to a reduced extent for the domestically focused systemically important banks (PostFinance AG, Raiffeisen, and Zürcher Kantonalbank). 

    Additionally, the Swiss Federal Council has decided not to implement the proposed increase in capital requirements for mortgages on residential investment property, as it considers the proposed self-regulation regime of the Swiss Bankers Association to be effective and appropriate.


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    Keywords: Europe, Switzerland, Banking, Securities, Own Funds, Capital Adequacy Ordinance, Gone-Concern Capital, Small Banks, Resolution Framework, Systemic Risk, Proportionality, Swiss Federal Council

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