LONDON/NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse said 16 billion Swiss francs ($17.24 billion) of its Additional Tier 1 debt will be written down to zero on the orders of the Swiss regulator as part of its rescue merger with UBS (UBSG.S), angering bondholders on Sunday.
FINMA, the Swiss regulator, said the decision would bolster the bank's capital. The move reflects authorities' desire to see private investors share the pain from Credit Suisse's troubles.
Chair Marlene Amstad said FINMA had stuck to the country's "too-big-to-fail" banking framework in making the decision.
It means AT1 bondholders appear to be left with nothing while shareholders, who sit below bonds in the priority ladder for repayment in a bankruptcy process, will receive $3.23 billion under the UBS deal.
Engineered in the wake of the global financial crisis, AT1 bonds are a form of junior debt that counts towards banks' regulatory capital. They were designed as a way to transfer risks to investors and away from taxpayers if a bank gets into trouble.