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Credit Suisse grants CHF2.8 billion in corona credit

Urs Rohner is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Credit Suisse (Keystone / Ennio Leanza)

Major Swiss bank Credit Suisse has issued 15,400 emergency loans totaling CHF2.8 billion ($2.9 billion) during the coronavirus crisis, says board chairman Urs Rohner. The numbers are similar at competitor UBS.

On March 25 the Swiss government announcedexternal link a scheme to provide cash-strapped small and medium-sized companies with emergency loans to get through the coronavirus crisis. Companies have to apply for the credit at their main banks.

+ Switzerland facing biggest economic slump since 1975

Loans of up to CHF500,000 are interest free while firms pay 0.5% on larger loans of up to CHF20 million.

+ Swiss firms rush to claim emergency coronavirus loans

At Credit Suisseexternal link, smaller businesses  have so far received CHF2.2 billion, Rohner told Swiss pubic television SRF on Saturdayexternal link. These credits, limited to CHF500,000 at a time, have a 100% federal guarantee. The remaining CHF600 million are loans with an 85% federal guarantee and the bank securing the remaining 15%.

Quick turnaround

It was important to make the money available quickly to avoid acute company cash flow problems, Rohner said. The transactions were quite informal and possible to do in just 15 minutes. This showed that Switzerland could get things done when everyone worked together, the chairman said.

Credit Suisse did uncover a few fraudulent loan requests, but only in 0.4% of cases. These were mainly people who embellished the numbers to get a loan, he added.

Rohner’s comments come shortly after rival big bank UBS revealed its loan figures. Announcing its first quarter results on Thursdayexternal link, UBS said that it had processed over 21,000 applications under the federal programme, totaling more than CHF2.5 billion.

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