On March 25, 2020 the Federal Council announced to launch a loan programme for Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises taking effect as of March 26, 2020. The programme is a joint initiative between the Federal government, the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss banks to ensure that companies facing liquidity problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have access to bridging loans.
Under the programme, each enterprise meeting the eligibility criteria may apply for a loan on a website maintained by the Swiss Federal government. The two types of loans which may be granted include a COVID-19 Loan up to an amount of CHF 500,000 for immediate liquidity needs and a COVID-19 Loan PLUS up to an amount of CHF 20 Million for companies whose liquidity needs exceed the threshold for normal COVID-19 Loans. COVID-19 Loans benefit from a 100% Federal government guarantee via the Federal Surety Organizations. COVID-19 Loans PLUS benefit from a 85% Federal government guarantee.
The Baker McKenzie Zurich Banking & Finance Team has acted as sole advisor of UBS, Credit Suisse and all other banks involved in the programme on all legal aspects of the COVID-19 Loan Programme.
The Baker McKenzie team was led by Prof. Dr. Lukas Glanzmann (Partner, Banking & Finance / Insolvency & Restructuring) and further comprised Dr. Philip Spoerlé (Senior Associate, Banking & Finance) and Dr. Markus Winkler (Senior Associate, Banking & Finance / Regulatory).