Saturday, 1 April 2023


Swiss lawmakers tell Credit Suisse to clean up its act, seek to ringfence crisis By Reuters

Swiss lawmakers tell Credit Suisse to clean up its act, seek to ringfence crisis

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Switzerland’s national flag flies above a logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in front of a branch office in Bern, Switzerland November 29, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

By Alexandra Hudson (NYSE:) and Tom Sims

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss lawmakers on Friday vowed to bring those responsible for Credit Suisse’s problems to account and urged it to clean up its act after years of scandals, as they sought to contain the crisis and limit any reputational damage to the country.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest lender, clinched an emergency central bank loan early on Thursday of up to $54 billion to shore up its liquidity after its shares fell 24% on Wednesday, when its largest investor said it could not offer any more financial assistance.

The stock jumped 20% on Thursday, but fell 10% on Friday in volatile trade.

The Swiss cabinet held an emergency meeting about the central bank’s move on Thursday but gave no public statement after, with most politicians, including Finance Minister Karin Keller-Sutter, tight-lipped.

Among those who did comment, politicians from across Swiss ruling parties backed the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) move to provide liquidity, but put Credit Suisse managers under the spotlight for the scandals and losses that led to a crisis of confidence.

Switzerland, while priding itself on its financial know-how, has few mechanisms for holding top bankers individually responsible for mismanagement, unlike some other financial centres such as Britain where senior managers can face criminal sanctions.

Switzerland’s Social Democrats (SP), the second largest party in the lower house of the parliament, called for a wide search into who was responsible for a crisis “everyone should have seen coming”.

“Our system hasn’t managed to hold those responsible who should be held responsible,” SP co-president Cedric Wermuth told reporters on Thursday. “Who knew what, when …. Who knew when we had a systemic problem …. Who should have sounded the alarm when it was necessary?” he asked.

Greens lawmaker Gerhard Andrey said managers should take responsibility and Switzerland should look at its regulations, with the Credit Suisse debacle putting the country “in a very difficult situation”.

“It is about the responsibility of top level management and about culture. We don’t need more boxes to check. We need another culture,” he told Reuters.

Andrey said a year and a half ago he had convinced parliament and the…

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