SWITZERLAND - A parliamentary commission has been set up to investigate allegations of corruption at the Swiss public fund BVK.

The Swiss canton of Zurich has agreed to a parliamentary investigation committee to look into the public pension fund BVK.

Allegations regarding corruption at the fund are currently being investigated by external auditors and experts while the fund's former head of asset management remains in custody.

The parliamentary commission is to look into "which circumstances could have led to or facilitated the alleged wrongdoings", the financial department of the Zurich government said in a statement.

The commission will also compile a list of measures that could "prevent or at least hamper similar incidents" in future.

It said: "This measure is to ensure the political processing [of the BVK case] is complete and independent."

No members of the commission, which is rumoured to comprise 11 people, have been named.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Thomas Schönbächler, head of the BVK, is now representing the fund at the Swiss Foundation for International Real Estate Investments (AFIAA).

With CHF250m (€155m), BVK is the largest investor in the foundation currently owned by 18 Pensionskassen.

Schönbächler is replacing the former head of asset management Daniel Gloor - who resigned from his position on the AFIAA board in June following his arrest on allegations of corruption - and lawyer Christoph Burckhardt.
Hans Brauwers, chief executive of the AFIAA, confirmed to IPE that Burckhardt would be leaving the foundation's board at the end of September.

"Thomas Schönbächler has been elected to the foundation's board by the government of the canton of Zurich as representative for the BVK and has already taken up work," Brauwers added.

He said he could not give any reasons for Gloor or Burckhardt's departure.

Finally, Swiss public pension funds are now required to bring funding levels of their regional Pensionskassen to 80% over the next 40 years.

The bill, which is replacing earlier government proposals on a 100% funding requirement, has now received final approval by both houses of the Swiss parliament.

During the final parliamentary discussions, one member of parliament presented figures according to which this additional funding would require cantons to pay CHF43bn into their regional Pensionskassen over the next decades.