The global financial and economic crisis in 2008 showed that a big bank encountering serious difficulties can constitute a considerable burden for the economy, even in Switzerland. The Federal Council wants to prevent such banks from being too big to fail and to prevent the state from having to use tax revenues to save them.
The second review of the too-big-to-fail provisions by the Federal Council shows that Swiss regulation fares well in international comparison. It is suited to reducing the risk of systemically important banks so that no fundamental changes are required.
Gone concern capital requirements are intended to ensure that a bank in difficulty can be restructured and wound up in an orderly manner without financial assistance from the state. Following the introduction of gone concern capital requirements for UBS and Credit Suisse back in 2016, since 1 January 2019 these apply also to the domestically focused systemically important banks (PostFinance, Raiffeisen and Zürcher Kantonalbank). The level of the new requirements reflects the going concern capital requirements already in force today, which ensure the continuation of business activities in the event of major losses. Unlike for the big banks, however, only 40% of the requirements are reflected, as the domestically focused banks are less interconnected internationally.
At the end of November 2019, the Federal Council decided on the corresponding requirements for the parent entities of the two big banks.
The requirements for additional liquidity buffers for systemically important banks came into force on 1 July 2022. The systemically important banks must fulfil the basic requirements and the institution-specific additional requirements by the end of 2023.