ZURICH, May 11 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank is expanding its COVID-19 refinancing facility (CRF) to cover loan guarantees given by Switzerland's regional governments, the central bank said on Monday.
The facility, which previously only covered loans granted by the Swiss federal government, would also be extended to loans guaranteed jointly by the government and cantons, as well as loans for start-up companies.
The SNB launched the CRF in March to provide banks with liquidity as they gave loans to support businesses hit by the coronavirus downturn. Some 14.7 billion Swiss francs ($15.13 billion) has so far been granted to 123,000 Swiss companies, according to the latest statistics. ($1 = 0.9718 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill, editing by John Miller)