UBS ends rescue packages from Swiss gov’t that paved way for Credit Suisse takeover

GENEVA (AP) — UBS said Friday it has shut down rescue packages agreed with Swiss authorities that made available up to 200 billion Swiss francs (about $230 billion) to help shepherd through its takeover of ailing rival Credit Suisse and avert an international banking crisis.

The Zurich-based banking giant, which completed the takeover on June 12, said it had moved to “voluntarily terminate” rescue programs that aimed to help mop up billions of losses and provide liquidity to the banks as they moved forward on the complex deal.

UBS said it had repaid 50 billion francs in loans from the Swiss National Bank and 100 billion francs in liquidity support from the Swiss government, while ending a 9 billion franc “loss protection agreement” with the government.

In total, UBS also paid some 730 million francs in commitment fees and risk premiums to Swiss authorities, comprised of 200 million to the government and 530 million to the national bank.

Swiss authorities and UBS announced the hastily arranged merger in March to prevent the collapse of Credit Suisse.

The turmoil at Credit Suisse, which counted among some 30 systemically important banks across the world, added to fears about global financial markets earlier this year in the wake of failures of mid-sized banks in the United States. The crisis also struck at the heart of Switzerland’s identity as a top-drawer financial center.

Swiss authorities came under pressure from some critics and skeptics who at the time disagreed with or questioned support from taxpayers to help smooth the way for a merger of Switzerland’s best-known banks in the private sector.

The Swiss National Bank, in its own statement on Friday, said its total liquidity assistance for UBS and Credit Suisse reached 168 billion. UBS still has outstanding commitments to repay some loans.

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