Anger, uncertainty and skepticism are expressed by Swiss voters in the latest survey by the research institute GFS Bern on behalf of SRG regarding the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS. Understandable in view of the lack of alternatives presented – by the National Bank, Federal Council, Financial Market Authority and bank tips.
Despite this skepticism, the players enjoy great credibility – above all the SNB, UBS management and the Federal Council. Accordingly, just over half of those surveyed would have considered at least temporary nationalization to be an equally good solution or even better. But as Finance Minister Karin Keller-Sutter explained on Sunday, nationalization would have rendered the legal basis of “too big to fail” absurd.
What comes after the too big to fail basis?
The results of the survey show that those surveyed expect that those responsible will also be held accountable – the CS management. How remains open. What is clear, however, is that 15 years after the last bank bailout in Switzerland, there is a lack of understanding for risky transactions with high bonuses.
Accordingly, nine out of ten respondents finally demand more effective measures against rip-offs in the banking sector. Apparently, after the international banking earthquake in 2008, this insight did not find its way into practice.
With the takeover of CS by UBS, a giant bank is created – a “monster”. Those surveyed are aware that this bank also poses a major risk. They would therefore welcome certain business areas being separated and the risk shared. They also express their concerns in other ways – about jobs, the business location, the financial center.
What remains of the snapshot?
The survey shows the current state of mind and brings a new topic into the election year. Not only the voters are asking for clarification, but also politicians. Who can make a mark with it remains open. This dispute is certainly not a disadvantage for the pole parties SP and SVP with their long-standing criticism of “rip-off” – it is more difficult for the business parties GLP and FDP.
However, what will be politically capable of winning a majority, where new rules are needed at all, is also still an open question. No over-regulation – the warning sounds softly.
It is right to ask what remains of the anger and the eagerly expressed political demands. In 2008, too, those responsible assumed that the bank bailout was historic and should never happen again. The beginning of the “Too big to fail” basis, which was not used now because it would have become absurd if it were. The bank saved at the time was UBS.
Federal house editor SRF
Christine Wanner has been Federal House Editor since 2022 and reports on the decisions of the Federal Council and Parliament. Previously, she worked as a domestic editor for Radio SRF, also on the focal points of health and education policy. As a historian, she has dealt with how society deals with risks and dangers – for example in the nuclear issue and in dealing with natural disasters.