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An: To the Swiss banks and in particular the management of UBS and Credit Suisse

Care not dividends

Care not dividends

No distribution of profits by banks assisted by the Confederation

The COVID-19 pandemic has already caused more than 1,100 deaths in Switzerland, despite the great dedication of healthcare workers. The sectors and people hit the hardest need massive public aid. But this aid must not be diverted to a financial sector in crisis.[1]

Unlike other governments, such as Germany, the Swiss Federal Council is allowing companies benefiting from emergency measures to continue to distribute profits to their shareholders in the form of dividends. However the FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, warned that for banks this would be imprudent.[2] UBS and Credit Suisse are insisting on paying them out this year, despite the fact that the threat of new bank failures (of Credit Suisse in particular) is reemerging.[3] Let's not repeat the mistakes that led to the crisis of 2008.

Like a tsunami, the pandemic is hitting us very hard. It calls into question our priorities. The challenges it poses can be an opportunity to agree on a social, economic and environmental transition needed now more than ever.

Public aid must go first and foremost to those most affected. To those who cannot pay their rent or bills during the crisis; to the health and care workers who are struggling to protect us; to those who are acting to develop local food sovereignty; to indigenous peoples and grassroots communities who are protecting biodiversity around the world.[4]

To end this crisis, we need care, not dividends to BlackRock, the sovereign fund of Qatar or any other major investor.

Let's demand an immediate freeze on the distribution of dividends by banks receiving public aid!

[1] State interventions in the financial sector justified by the pandemic conceal a huge bailout of the financial sector has entered a crisis similar to that of 2008. Four months before the start of the pandemic, the US Federal Reserve was already organising the distribution of thousands of billions of dollars to banks threatened with bankruptcy by the bursting of this new speculative bubble: According to several economists, this windfall for banks will only increase inequalities, revive speculation and indebt governments, while aid to people and sectors in crisis would support the real economy.


[3] The cost of Credit Suisse's bankruptcy insurance (Credit Default Swaps) is on the rise (Tribune de Genève Credit Suisse fait peur aux investisseurs) and its stock market value has fallen by 47% (UBS's by 31%) in the last three weeks:

[4] The United Nations Environment Programme's Frontiers 2016 report notes that the increase in animal-borne diseases (such as the virus that causes VIDOC-19) has known aggravating factors, such as poorly regulated and illegal wildlife trade, deforestation, intensive agriculture and livestock farming. In addition, it is estimated that indigenous peoples protect more than 80% of the world's biodiversity (World Bank 2008).

Warum ist das wichtig?

First signers:

Aurélien Barrau, Professor of physics, Grenoble University ; Laïla Batou, Lawyer ; Rudi Berli, Farmer ; Blaise Berzinger, Humorist ; Dominique Bourg, Philosopher of the environment and honorary professor at University of Lausanne ; Sophie Bobillier, Lawyer ; Valérie Borloz, Secretary of the Trade Union "Union Syndicale Vaudoise" ; Prof. Dr. Marc Chesney, Head of Department of Banking and Finance, University of Zurich ; Maxime Combes, ATTAC France ; Willy Crétigny, organic wine-grower ; Nils de Dardel, Lawyer and former national councillor ; Léo Devanthéry, Musician and Composer ; Eric Devanthey, Film Director ; Jacques Dubochet, Nobel laureate in chemistery ; Netty Fabian, Care specialist, Basel ; Adrien Fleury, Psychiatrist ; Mathieu Genoud, Farmer ; Prof. Blaise Genton, Doctor ; Marie-Claire Graf, Vice-president of Swiss Youth for Climate, climate activist ; Nicolas Haeringer, ; Dr. Ute Heissner, Coordinator of academic studies, University Hospital Basel ; Dr. med. René Jaccard, Physician and Grandparents4Climate Switzerland​​​​​​​ ; José Lillo, Producer ; Nicolas Maystre, Economist, University of Geneva ; Raphaël Mahaim, Lawyer ; Anne-Catherine Menetrey Savary, Former national councillor ; Marie-Pomme Moinat, Lawyer and municipal councillor ; Prof. Dr. Henrik Nordborg, Class supervisor Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energies, HSR Hochschule für Technik, Rapperswil ; Luc Recordon, Lawyer, engineer and former national councillor ; Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecology and Economics, Leeds University ; Daniel Tanuro, Eco-socialism author ; Prof. Dr. Philippe Thalmann, Professor for environmental economics, EPFL Lausanne ; Jean Ziegler, Former UN Special Rapporteur, sociologist and author ; Josef Ziszyadis, Co-President of Slow Food Suisse and co-founder of "La Semaine du Goût"; Andreas Freimüller, Campax ; Philosopher


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