According to a parliamentary committee document, the inquiry into Credit Suisse’s collapse will keep its files confidential for 50 years – sparking serious concerns among Swiss historians. While its aim may be high levels of confidentiality, such a long period could impede future research on 2023 banking crises.
The inquiry will primarily investigate the actions of Swiss government, financial regulator, and central bank prior to UBS’s emergency takeover of Credit Suisse in March. As only the fifth such investigation in recent Swiss history, its committee of lawmakers overseeing it possesses wide powers including summoning cabinet ministers, finance ministry representatives and state bodies as witnesses; additionally they may question any relevant Credit Suisse bankers involved – though this won’t necessarily be its focus.
All persons involved with meetings and questioning (including interviewees ) as well as all records produced or obtained during an inquiry are bound by an obligation of secrecy, with breaches subject to sanctions from authorities such as being barred from speaking at committee hearings and fines.
The Swiss Society for History has voiced its concern regarding an extended period of confidentiality and its impact on historical research of the 2023 banking crisis. In a letter addressed to law-maker Isabelle Chassot as commission head, society president Sacha Zala requested access to archives after an appropriate protection period has passed and under specified conditions, so as to enable researchers to scientifically investigate its causes and effects – with over 100 scholars signing the letter as supporters.