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Central bank says credit conditions are steady

The president of the Swiss National Bank says credit conditions in Switzerland have not deteriorated and the country's banks are well capitalised.

This content was published on August 19, 2008 - 11:51

Jean-Pierre Roth told the Financial Times newspaper that Swiss cantonal banks and regional banks were "doing fine" despite the current financial market crisis.

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has had to write down more than $40 billion (SF43.9 billion) in risky credits in the United States over the past year.

But Roth stressed that the Swiss banking system remained strong.

"In Switzerland, there has been no public intervention in the banking sector. The private sector was strong enough to solve the problems itself and is well capitalised.

"Although the problems have not disappeared they are on the way to a cure," he commented.

Roth said he supported calls for tougher controls on Swiss banks. Asked whether the banks should be more strongly capitalised, he replied: "From a central bank point of view, more is better than less".

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