Chairman Credit Suisse Apologizes to Shareholders
Credit Suisse’s chairman has apologized to shareholders for the crisis of confidence that led to the demise of the major Swiss bank. Credit Suisse was recently saved from collapse thanks to a rescue by its larger Swiss peer UBS.
Credit Suisse held its very last shareholder meeting on Tuesday. The acquisition of Credit Suisse saw shareholders lose a large part of their investments in the 167-year-old bank. They also had no say in the bailout by UBS that was forced by the Swiss authorities.
Credit Suisse Chairman Alex Lehmann said there was no time left to turn around Credit Suisse’s business and stop the stock market’s heavy fall. “I am sorry. I apologize that we could not stop the loss of confidence,” said the chairman.
Lehmann went on to say that the scandal-plagued bank had been fighting until the very last moment. “We searched hard for solutions until the very end. But in the end, there were only two options: a takeover or bankruptcy. The merger, therefore, had to go ahead,” said the chairman.
Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Körner said he was deeply saddened by the bank’s end but said the takeover by UBS was the only viable solution. “The bank’s survival was at stake, and we no longer had a choice. A collapse of Credit Suisse would have been catastrophic not only for Switzerland but for the entire global economy.”
In Switzerland, there is a lot of fuss about the rescue of Credit Suisse and the billions in guarantees that the government has given. According to a poll, most of the Swiss population does not agree with the bank bailout by UBS. Outside the Credit Suisse shareholder meeting in Zurich, there was a protest by activists out of dissatisfaction with the aid to the bank.