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Swiss Banks Mull $21 Billion Loan Program for Small Businesses

Bryce Baschuk

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG is considering a plan to create a 20-billion franc ($21 billion) loan program to aid small and medium-sized Swiss businesses affected by the coronavirus, according to the Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung.

Other large lenders -- like Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Zuercher Kantonalbank -- are also considering the proposal, which was initiated by Credit Suisse’s new chief executive Thomas Gottstein, according to the report, which cited several unnamed sources.

The proposal comes after the Swiss government announced Friday that it would deploy an emergency economic-aid package of roughly 10 billion francs for workers and small businesses.

The plan includes as much as 580 million francs in emergency bank loans to small and medium-sized businesses, which employ a majority of the labor force.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Geneva at bbaschuk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Lynn Thomasson, Marthe Fourcade

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