Restrictions in accordance with the Joint and Several Guarantees Act:
SBüG prohibits the granting of new loans or the repayment of loan debts from shareholders or related parties after receipt of the Covid-19 loan.
Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin addressed the issue of the permissibility of granting group loans to National Councillor Pirmin Schwander during a question and answer session in the National Council on December 6, 2021. According to the position of the Federal Council, the granting of loans to other Swiss group companies, in particular parent companies, is permissible insofar as these loans serve the sole purpose of and are necessary for these other Swiss group companies to meet their pre-existing interest payment obligations and, since 1 January 2021, their pre-existing ordinary amortization obligations.
With its statement and response, the Federal Council has created a high degree of legal certainty. Despite this general clarification by the Federal Council, the specific individual case must be assessed individually.
How can any violations be „cured“?
If the funds have already been used contrary to the aforementioned rules, it is imperative to rectify the situation by taking swift action.
Acting quickly can mean:
- Reversal of payments made for asset loans;
- Repayment of liability loans or group loans;
- Immediate repayment of the COVID-19 bridging loan.
If it is not possible to repay the COVID-19 bridging loan immediately, the financing guaranteed by the federal government could still be redeemed by
- a shareholder loan replaces the bridging loan;
- normal bank financing replaces the bridging loan (with corresponding costs);
- other solutions can be found (e.g. sale-and-lease-back);
In contrast to Switzerland, liquidity-securing loans (COVID-19 loans) granted by the Liechtensteinische Landesbank to Liechtenstein companies are not subject to any conditions. In accordance with the Default Guarantee Act, they serve to meet the current liabilities of Liechtenstein companies and prevent their insolvency.