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UBS subsidiary Credit Suisse – Key events

Updated at 11 Mar 2024 9:20 am

Credit Suisse has been history for a year now. Below is an overview of the most important events of the past ten years - before and after the takeover by UBS:

- February 6, 2024: UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti announces the closure of numerous branches. There are currently still around 190 UBS branches and around 95 CS branches in Switzerland. In the end, there will probably be as many as there were at UBS before the takeover, says Ermotti.

- November 7, 2023: The big bank UBS announces a stabilization in the CS business and already high cost savings on the occasion of the results in the third quarter of 2023. For the first time, Credit Suisse, which was officially acquired in June, is included for a full quarter.

- August 31, 2023: Management announces the decision to merge the Swiss business of UBS and CS. This is likely to lead to 3000 redundancies. 1,000 of these relate to the integration of CS Switzerland into the banking group, and a further 2,000 to other CS business areas in Switzerland. Until the very end, many Swiss people hoped that the "Credit Suisse" brand could still survive in some form - as an independent CS Switzerland, for example.

- June 12, 2023: UBS formally completes the acquisition of Credit Suisse. The CS share is traded on the Swiss stock exchange for the last time. The last price is a measly 81.7 centimes per share. In 2007, before the major financial crisis, the share price peaked at over CHF 95, more than 100 times higher.

- March 29, 2023: Sergio Ermotti returns and becomes CEO of UBS once again, having already led the bank for nine years. He is to lead the restructuring and integration of CS to success within the next three years.

- March 19, 2023: The Federal Council and authorities announce the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS. The big bank pays around CHF 3 billion in UBS shares for the takeover of its former arch-rival. The takeover is finalized after intensive negotiations over the weekend.

- March 16, 2023: Credit Suisse borrows up to CHF 50 billion from the SNB. Together with the Financial Market Supervisory Authority Finma, the central bank emphasized that the big bank meets the capital and liquidity requirements for systemically important banks. The stability of the Swiss financial system should be ensured, it said. During the week, the bankruptcy of the American Silicon Valley Bank, among others, sent shockwaves through the financial markets, with the already struggling CS being seen as the weakest link in the chain.

- March 15, 2023: The CS share temporarily falls by over 30 percent to a new all-time low of 1.55 francs. This was partly due to statements by the new major shareholder from Saudi Arabia, which further spooked investors. In an interview, the President of the Saudi SNB, Ammar al-Khudairy, ruled out any further financial support for CS. No further money would be injected into the bank, partly for regulatory reasons, which would arise if the stake were increased to 10 percent. In the course of the CS capital increase in fall 2022, Saudi National Bank joined in and has held 9.9 percent of CS shares since then. The Saudis have always stated that they do not want to exceed this value.

- March 9, 2023: Credit Suisse postpones the publication of its annual report at the very last minute. The reason given is a last-minute request from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which still needs to be clarified. The bank then publishes its annual report a few days later, on March 14.

- March 6, 2023: The long-standing major shareholder Harris Associates throws in the towel and sells all its shares in the major bank.

- February 28, 2023: FINMA closes proceedings against Credit Suisse over the Greensill scandal. The authority harshly denounces risk management: The bank has seriously breached its regulatory obligations, it says. FINMA orders corrective measures and installs a supervisor at the bank. It also initiates proceedings against four former CS managers.

- February 9, 2023: CS reports a loss of CHF 7.3 billion for the 2022 financial year - the worst year since the financial crisis of 2008. In the fourth quarter alone, clients withdrew around CHF 110 billion, or around 8 percent of assets under management, from the bank. A large proportion of the withdrawals took place in the first two weeks of October 2022 following rumors on social media that the bank was in trouble. CS is also forecasting a loss for 2023.

- October 2022: Credit Suisse announces a restructuring and a capital increase of CHF 4 billion. The loss-making investment bank is to be downsized and thousands of jobs are to be cut in the coming years. CS brings Saudi National Bank on board as a new investor.

- July 2022: Ulrich Körner becomes the new head of the big bank. Thomas Gottstein announces his resignation with the announcement of a billion-euro loss in the second quarter of 2022. Körner was previously CEO of Asset Management at CS. He only joined from UBS in April 2021, where he was a member of the Group Executive Board for eleven years, six of which as Head of Asset Management.

- April 2022: Axel Lehmann is elected to succeed António Horta-Osório as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the UBS Group Executive Board from 2015 to January 2021, first as Chief Operating Officer and then as Head of the Swiss business.

- February 2022: An international research network (including "Süddeutsche Zeitung", "Guardian", "Le Monde", "New York Times") publishes the "Suisse Secrets". The "revelations" accuse CS of having accepted autocrats, drug dealers, suspected war criminals and human traffickers as clients for years.

- February 2022: For the fourth quarter of 2021, the bank once again has to make a billion-euro value adjustment for the US investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), which it acquired more than 20 years ago. The loss for 2021 as a whole amounts to 1.6 billion Swiss francs.

- January 2022: Chairman of the Board of Directors Horta-Osório resigns due to violations of quarantine requirements to contain the coronavirus. The Portuguese national only took over from Urs Rohner in April 2021. He, in turn, had relinquished the post after the maximum term of office of ten years.

- In the first quarter of 2021, the collapse of the hedge fund Archegos impacted the big bank's result by CHF 4.4 billion, with a further CHF 0.6 billion added in the second quarter. The highly indebted US hedge fund collapsed at the end of March. Of all the financial institutions involved, the Swiss bank suffered by far the highest losses.

- March 2021: Credit Suisse suspends trading in so-called Supply Chain Finance Funds, which CS set up with the insolvent Greensill Capital. The workout will take years. By the present, investors will have been repaid USD 7.0 billion of the original fund assets of around USD 10 billion as part of the liquidation of the supply chain funds.

- February 2020: Group CEO Tidjane Thiam resigns due to the shadowing of several top managers by the bank. He emphasizes that he knew nothing about the shadowing, which had been causing a stir since autumn 2019. His successor as CEO will be Thomas Gottstein, Head of Switzerland.

- December 2016: Credit Suisse reaches a settlement in the mortgage dispute with the USA. The bank agrees to pay a fine of 2.48 billion dollars and compensation to borrowers of 2.8 billion over a period of five years in connection with its previous business with bad mortgage securities. CS will therefore suffer a loss of CHF 2.35 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

- In the fourth quarter of 2015, Credit Suisse posted a net loss of CHF 5.8 billion, mainly due to a huge write-down on legacy assets and exceptional items. Due to the unsuccessful purchase of DLJ in 2000, goodwill in Investment Banking already had to be written down by CHF 3.8 billion at this time.

- July 2015: Group CEO Brady Dougan steps down after eight years as CEO and 25 years in total at Credit Suisse. The US investment banker was long considered almost untouchable because CS had come through the financial crisis better than other major banks under his leadership. However, he later came under fire for his exorbitantly high compensation, among other things. The new boss is Tidjane Thiam, who comes from the British insurer Prudential. He restructures the bank and carries out two billion-euro capital increases.

- May 2014: Credit Suisse reaches an agreement with the US Department of Justice in the tax dispute with the USA. The big bank pleads guilty to helping US citizens evade taxes and accepts a fine of 2.6 billion dollars. As a result, the bank suffered a loss of CHF 700 million in the second quarter of 2014 due to a charge of CHF 1.6 billion as a result of the settlement.

©Keystone/SDA

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