SWITZERLAND - Taking legal action against the former board at UBS has to be weighed against public pension funds' interests, as they will have "little interest" in paying large sums for lawsuits, Swiss finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz has told parliament.

During parliament's first autumn session, Merz answered a motion put forward by an MP demanding that the government expedite legal action against the former UBS managers through public institutions such as Pensionskassen and the first-pillar fund AHV, both of which are UBS shareholders.

But Merz said the federal government was "reluctant" in this case, as banks fell into the remit of the financial supervisor.

He added that a Pensionskasse "naturally has little interest to pay large sums for lawsuits", as it has to "ensure returns and the integrity of its assets' substance".

He said funds' interests therefore had to be weighed against going to court, and that these considerations were "currently under way".

According to Merz, the federal government is expecting UBS to file a written report on its former board members within the next few days after the government called on the company to file a statement before the end of this year. 

"From these notes, we will then be able to evaluate whether we are pursuing this issue, and - if yes - in what way," Merz said.

The deadline to file legal claims against the former board members who earlier this year did not receive a discharge from shareholders for 2007 ends mid-October.