January 18, 2015 / 2:38 PM / 3 years ago

Credit Suisse to charge large companies for franc deposits

A national flag of Switzerland flies in front of a branch office of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in Luzern October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse CSGN.VX said on Sunday it planned to start charging institutional and large corporate clients for Swiss franc accounts following a move by the Swiss National Bank to introduce negative interest rates.

The Swiss central bank announced in December that it would charge banks for franc deposits from Jan. 22, in a bid to stem a flight to the safe-haven currency driven by concerns over the euro zone and Russia’s deepening crisis.

Last week, the central bank said it would increase the interest charge by a further 0.5 percentage points to -0.75 percent.

“In view of current developments, commission on credit balances is being introduced in the case of institutional clients and large corporate clients,” Credit Suisse spokeswoman Daniela Haesler said in an emailed statement, adding clients were being informed individually about the measure.

She declined to comment on the size of the interest charge and when it would be introduced. She added, however, that Credit Suisse currently had no plans to levy a negative interest rate on savings accounts.

The bank, along with local rival UBS UBSG.VX, introduced a form of negative interest rate on the franc accounts of financial institutions in 2012 to deter rivals from hoarding the safe-haven unit.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Clelia Oziel

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