Petition to the Federal Council, Financial Market Authority (Finma) and the Competition Commission
EXPROPRIATE AND SOCIALISE CREDIT SUISSE REAL ESTATE!
The real estate portfolio of Credit Suisse Funds AG and its subsidiaries is to be socialized and thus permanently withdrawn from speculation. This affects around 23,000 apartments and 2 million square meters of commercial space throughout Switzerland. The aim is to secure long-term affordable living and working space for the Swiss population, which is guaranteeing the "rescue" of CS with its tax money.
The takeover of the former Credit Suisse (CS) by UBS is creating the largest commercial real estate owner in Switzerland – with a portfolio worth CHF 38.2 billion and over 50,000 flats. This means that a new mega-bank would control about 54% of the net assets of all real estate funds in Switzerland. We cannot and will not stand by and watch such a concentration of property, power and influence in the housing and real estate market in the hands of a single bank. Especially not in the middle of the current housing crisis!
The real estate portfolio of Credit Suisse Funds AG and its subsidiaries is to be socialised and thus permanently withdrawn from speculation.
This affects around 23,000 flats and 2 million square metres of commercial space throughout Switzerland. In this way, affordable living and working space is to be secured in the long term for the Swiss population, which is guaranteeing the “rescue” of CS with its tax money.
As a first step, the Swiss fund properties of the former CS will immediately become the property of the public sector (the federal government). This rapid nationalisation will secure the properties against a takeover by UBS. In a second step, a participatory process is started to socialise the properties. In a democratic way and with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders – tenants, the population and political bodies of the local communities, tenants’ associations and building cooperatives, etc. – a decision will be made on how and in what form they will be transferred into common ownership.
The real estate funds of CS comprise a portfolio worth CHF 18.6 billion and 22,672 flats, while UBS has a portfolio worth CHF 19.6 billion and 27,811 flats. In the five largest Swiss cities, 16,329 flats are managed by CS or UBS real estate funds.
Here is a list of addresses, taken from annual reports 2022:
Why expropriate and socialise?
Fund management was a lucrative business for CS: In addition to the costs for property management, it received 83 million francs in fees for its 6 real estate funds in 2022. That is 11.2% of the collected rents – money that had to be financed by the tenants!
This shows: For banks and their real estate funds, housing is a financial investment aimed at maximising returns. Instead of being living space for the population, affected cities and municipalities are increasingly serving as car parks for large financial investments. The social, ecological and, not least, economic problems that go hand in hand with this have recently become increasingly clear. The housing crisis and the displacement of broad sections of the population are real.2 We need more than “paving stone policy”!
Realistic and proven:
The properties are owned by the fund management companies and their subsidiaries. According to the CS fund contracts, the fund management or the supervisory authority can bring about the dissolution of the real estate fund by terminating the fund contract with a one-month notice period. The transfer of fund properties to common ownership has been tried and tested. For example, a company founded in 1990 took over about 1,000 flats of the UBS fund SIMA.
A fair return.
In the course of the takeover of CS by UBS, the National Bank and the Swiss taxpayers are granting guarantees of an incredible CHF 259 billion to the new big bank. For this risky use of taxpayers’ and the National Bank’s money, we demand a more than justified return: the real estate portfolio of Credit Suisse Funds AG should be protected from the yield-driven interest of UBS and transferred into public ownership. This is to secure sustainable affordable living and working space, which is urgently needed especially in the cities.
Then set an example and sign the petition now.
The Swiss-wide civil society alliance ‘Expropriate CS Real Estate’ was founded in April 2023 by 15 individuals and now consists of the following organizations:
Autonome Schule Zürich ASZ, BFS Basel, Café Hammer Basel, Enfant Terrible, feministisches Streikaus Zürich, Fertig Luschtig Bern, Genossenschaft Kalkbreite, Genossenschaft Karthago, IG Nicht im Heuried, INURA Network , Klimastreik Zürich, Verein Läbigi Lorraine, Laboratorium für Zukunftsgestaltung, linkesseeuferfüralle (Zürich-Wollishofen), Mattenstrasse Basel, Mieten-Marta, Verein Noigass, Paranoia City Buchhandlung Zürich, Park Platz Zürich, Schwarzer Peter Basel, sofa*p, Verein Stadt für Alle Basel, Thiesen & Wolf, Unlock the City Bern, Urban Equipe, Warmbächli Genossenschaft Bern, Wir alle sind Bern, Wohngenossenschaft Klybeck Basel, Verein Zentralwäscherei Zürich.
The alliance is still open for affected people, for solidarity groups and organizations or for supporting parties. Contact email@example.com