Moody's says immigration vote bad for Swiss economy, banks

ZURICH Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:46pm EST

Related Topics

ZURICH Feb 18 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Moody's warned on Tuesday that immigration curbs in Switzerland will hit the economy and the country's key banking sector.

Swiss voters narrowly backed proposals to curtail immigration from the EU in a referendum last Sunday that has already drawn criticism from the 28-member bloc.

Switzerland's business elite fears the curbs, which the Swiss government has three years to draft law for, will harm competitiveness, a view Moody's echoed on Tuesday.

"The introduction of quotas on labour immigration could reduce housing demand, thereby exerting pressure on residential house prices, and potentially leading to a faster-than-anticipated slowdown in residential housing markets," Moody's said.

"In addition, negative repercussions on Swiss-EU trade may put pressure on export-oriented businesses, thereby leading to weaker corporate asset quality," it added. (Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER: