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UBS bailout stress caused my heart attack, says Swiss ex-finance minister

Published 03/08/2016

UBS was hit by massive US subprime mortgage losses
UBS was hit by massive US subprime mortgage losses

Switzerland's former finance minister said he believes the stress of bailing out the country's biggest bank, UBS, caused him to suffer a heart attack.

Hans-Rudolf Merz suffered the heart attack at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 as Switzerland embarked on the bailout of UBS, which was hit by massive US subprime mortgage losses.

Mr Merz told Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung that he was fit at the time and believes the heart attack resulted from "momentary overloading due to the UBS rescue".

He said he had learned on the day it happened that authorities might have to provide some 60 billion dollars (£45 billion) in guarantees.

Mr Merz, who was finance minister from 2003 to 2010, said: "I hadn't expected this immense sum. That simply knocked me over."

AP

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