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Announcement:

Moody's: Outlook changed to negative for Swiss banking system

 The document has been translated in other languages

31 Jul 2014

Frankfurt am Main, July 31, 2014 -- The outlook for Switzerland's (Aaa stable) banking system has been changed to negative from stable, principally because the likelihood of support for senior creditors from the Swiss government in the event of need is diminishing, says Moody Investors Service in a new report published today.

Moody's view reflects the government's move forward to implement a resolution framework allowing burden-sharing with creditors (bail-in) to resolve failing domestic banks. Moody's believes that the negative implications of diminishing support for senior creditors outweigh the otherwise more positive elements that will continue to support the banks' standalone credit profiles.

The new report "Banking System Outlook: Switzerland", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

Moody's says that over the past two years, the Swiss authorities have made significant progress in implementing a credible and flexible resolution framework that includes provisions for burden-sharing with senior creditors. The evolution of the Swiss bank resolution regime and the accelerating global trend towards the use of burden-sharing tools are likely to lead to a diminishing support for senior creditors from the Swiss government in the event of need. These developments further increase the probability of a downward adjustment of Moody's current systemic support assumptions for Swiss banks.

Notwithstanding the theme of diminishing systemic support, the Swiss banking system continues to benefit from the Swiss banks' stable operating environment and their solid financial base. This assessment takes into account the country's solid economic development (we forecast Swiss GDP to grow 2.1% in 2014) as well as the country's low unemployment.

Very low problem loan levels (having declined in 2013 to 1.1% of total gross loans from 1.2% a year earlier) and sound earnings generation capacity, implying that Swiss banks' capital ratios will remain high, will further support Swiss banks' credit profiles. Most of the banks also display limited reliance on wholesale funding, and substantial loss-absorption capacity through earnings and loan-loss reserves.

Sustained property-price inflation and persistently low interest rates are the main fundamental challenges for Swiss banks over the next 12-18 months.

Because of the predominance of domestic mortgage loans in Swiss banks' loan books, a sharper-than-expected downturn in the Swiss residential property market would lead to rising problem loans and significantly higher loan-loss charges for banks, reducing their profitability and, potentially, diminishing their capital ratios. Such a downturn would add to existing earnings pressure from the continued roll-over of higher-yielding assets in a persistently low interest-rate environment.

Regional and cantonal banks are also highly exposed to fixed-rate mortgage loans (approximately 80% of their total mortgage balances). Ongoing re-pricing of mortgages and other assets -- originated at a time of higher rates -- will thus be problematic because it will exert pressure on banks' net interest income, their main revenue source.

Subscribers can access this report via this link: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_173583.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Michael Rohr
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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