Credit Suisse says £55bn left bank in lead-up to rescue by UBS | Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse said customers pulled more than 61bn Swiss francs (£55bn) worth of assets from the bank at the start of the year, laying bare the scale of the panic that contributed to its failure and emergency takeover by its rival UBS last month.

The Swiss lender said the “significant withdrawals” were partly to blame for its poor financial performance in the first quarter, with its adjusted pre-tax loss ballooning to 1.3bn Swiss francs for the first three months of the year. That compares with a profit of 300m Swiss francs during the same period in 2022.

The figures were detailed in what is likely to be the 167-year-old bank’s last set of standalone financial results, as it prepares to be subsumed by UBS in the coming months.

While the outflows over the first three months of the year were lower than the 111bn Swiss francs that were withdrawn by customers between October and December, it was the speed at which money left the bank in the latter half of March that raised serious concerns.

“In the second half of March 2023, Credit Suisse experienced significant withdrawals,” the bank said. “These outflows, which were most acute in the days immediately preceding and following the announcement of the merger, stabilised to much lower levels, but had not yet reversed as of 24 April.”

Credit Suisse released figures showing that customers from the bank’s flagship wealth management division – which managed funds on behalf of rich clients – pulled 9% of their assets during the first quarter alone. That accelerated what had been a months of withdrawals by clients, with the division having reported assets under management of 502.5bn Swiss francs at the end of March, compared with 707bn Swiss francs a year earlier.

Credit Suisse said the overall drop in assets and deposits in the first quarter would knock income and fees, contributing to what is likely to be a “substantial loss before taxes” for the group in the second quarter and 2023 overall. That could spell trouble for Credit Suisse staff, who are at risk of job cuts as UBS considers the future shape of the business after the takeover.

Analysts at the New York investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woodssaid the magnitude of losses and outflows at Credit Suisse was “alarming”. “While some may argue not as bad as feared, we would remind investors Credit Suisse has been running as a standalone entity since the end of March. There is more to come,” they said.

KBW said that even if UBS was able to cut 8bn Swiss francs worth of costs over the next four years, the potential for revenue growth was “so damaged” that the deal could end up dragging on UBS’s finances. That is, unless, it unveiled a “deeper” restructuring plan. “The deal is not as accretive as investors may think”, the analysts said.

Customers started to pull money from Credit Suisse at a clip last month amid growing concerns over the health of the global banking market, after the surprise collapse of the California-headquartered tech and venture capital lender Silicon Valley Bank.

While Credit Suisse had for years been mired in scandals, panic over its future grew after its largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, ruled out any extra funding for the Swiss lender despite the growing turmoil.

The crisis of confidence first forced Swiss authorities to offer emergency loans, before eventually orchestrating a shotgun takeover by Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, which bought the lender for a cut price of 3bn Swiss francs.

The bank disclosed on Monday that it had borrowed about 168bn Swiss francs from the Swiss National Bank as of the end of March as part of an emergency loan facility meant to help support the bank’s operations as uncertainty mounted. It has so far repaid about 70bn Swiss francs of that total.

Credit Suisse, which did not hold any media or analyst calls after the release of the first-quarter results, said it would “work closely with UBS to ensure that the transaction is completed in a timely manner”.

UBS will report its own first-quarter results on Tuesday.

( Information from was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Leave a Comment

Share to...