ZURICH Feb 13 The Swiss government said banks
will need to raise additional capital of 3 billion Swiss francs
($3.28 billion) as part of measures it announced on Wednesday to
cool a housing bubble.
Serge Gaillard, director of the Swiss finance department,
told a news conference that the figure was equivalent to the
amount banks make in profit in one year.
Real estate prices and mortgage lending have risen strongly
in Switzerland in recent years, a by-product of the ultra-low
interest rates set by the central bank to lessen the appeal of
the safe-haven Swiss franc and prevent a recession.
The government action comes as the result of a request from
the Swiss National Bank, which has repeatedly expressed concern
about overheating house prices and said on Wednesday
"imbalances" had intensified further in the second half of 2012.
($1 = 0.9157 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; writing by Caroline Copley)