Credit Suisse investors angrily confront bank as chairman says sorry

  • By Vishala Sri-Pathma
  • BBC News

Image caption,

Credit Suisse’s chief govt Ulrich Korner confronted investors on Tuesday

Shareholders in Credit Suisse have advised the agency they really feel “failed” and “cheated” after the collapsed bank was rescued by its long-time rival UBS.

On Tuesday, the 167-year previous Swiss bank confronted investors for the primary time for the reason that deal was struck and for the final time as an unbiased agency.

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann mentioned he was “truly sorry”.

But one investor advised the bank that shareholders had “everything stolen from them”.

Credit Suisse was rescued by UBS final month in a deal brokered by authorities after turmoil within the US banking sector despatched the Swiss lender’s shares tumbling.

The loss-making bank had already been struggling for various years after a collection of scandals, compliance issues and unhealthy monetary bets.

Mr Lehmann advised investors on the Annual General Meeting that administration had a plan to show issues round however had been “thwarted” by fears prompted by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank within the US.

But one shareholder steered the board would have been crucified in medieval occasions.

Another held up a sack of empty walnut shells, saying they value the identical as a single Credit Suisse share.

Credit Suisse’s chief govt Ulrich Korner mentioned: “I perceive that you just really feel dissatisfied, shocked, or indignant.

“I share the frustration of you, our shareholders, however I additionally share the frustration of all of our staff, our shoppers and, in the end, most people.”

Shareholders in each Credit Suisse and UBS – which is able to maintain an investor assembly on Wednesday – have been denied a vote on the takeover due to the emergency measures taken by the Swiss authorities to hurry the deal via.

Mr Lehmann mentioned the one different choice would have been chapter.

“This would have led to the worst situation, specifically a complete loss for shareholders, unpredictable dangers for shoppers, extreme penalties for the financial system and the worldwide monetary markets,” he mentioned.

“It was our obligation to guard the pursuits of our shareholders as finest we may to offer safety to our shoppers. We did all the things we may inside what was doable.”

Analysis by Imogen Foulkes, BBC Geneva correspondent

Credit Suisse bosses knew they must eat humble pie at this assembly, however regardless of quite a few apologies the shareholders stay indignant.

It’s frequent for middle-class Swiss individuals, particularly the aged, to take a position cash in just a few shares as a back-up to their pensions. What have they historically thought of secure? Switzerland’s two greatest banks. But now Credit Suisse shares are price lower than 10% of what they have been two years in the past.

One man representing a bunch of shareholders accused Credit Suisse administration of “greed and incompetence”, another pointed to his red tie, saying he was wearing it to represent the “pink card” Credit Suisse deserved.

Others turned their anger on the Swiss authorities, which compelled via the takeover by UBS over only one weekend whereas the markets have been closed. Some of us, mentioned one shareholder, spend extra time selecting our smartphones.

Venting their anger is nearly the one motion the shareholders can take; the cope with UBS is finished. Apologising once more, CEO Ulrich Korner mentioned there had been little selection, it was both take the cope with UBS or chapter, which he mentioned would have been catastrophic not only for Switzerland, however for your entire international financial system.

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