Swiss authorities reveal costs of Credit Suisse lifeline

By Noele Illien

ZURICH (Reuters) -Switzerland’s 250 billion Swiss franc lifeline thrown to Credit Suisse and UBS could cost them more than 10 billion francs ($10.95 billion) in interest if used in full, Reuters calculations based on official data showed.

Credit Suisse will pay an interest rate equal to the current Swiss National Bank’s policy rate of 1.5% plus 0.5% for access to the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) scheme, the central bank said on Thursday.

The facility requires loans to be covered by collateral in the form of mortgages and pledged securities.

In measures announced alongside the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by rival UBS engineered by the authorities, the two banks were also given access to 100 billion francs in additional liquidity assistance (ELA+).

This central bank assistance is available to the banks at an interest of 3% plus its policy rate.

Credit Suisse was also given access to an additional 100 billion franc public liquidity backstop, for which it has to pay a 3% risk premium evenly split between the national bank and the Swiss state.

On top of this Credit Suisse owes Switzerland a 0.25% commitment premium for the public liquidity backstop.

The conditions offered to the Swiss banks are lower than the 4% – 8% interest rates on top of the central bank’s policy rate, offered to Switzerland’s electricity providers last year as part of a 10 billion franc emergency state credit line.

($1 = 0.9135 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Noele Illien and John RevillEditing by Tomasz Janowski)