Credit Suisse said on Monday that customers withdrew nearly $69 billion from the bank in the first quarter, underscoring the spiraling problems that led to the Swiss lender’s fire sale to its archrival UBS in March.
The revelation, which came in Credit Suisse’s final financial report as an independent entity, sheds more light on why the Swiss government rushed to take over the 167-year-old company on March 19.
That decision to create a behemoth in Switzerland’s banking sector has proven politically unpopular, especially since hundreds of billions in government financial guarantees were provided to help the deal succeed. Regulators said they had moved quickly to shore up Switzerland’s financial system and stem a wave of shocks that rocked global markets.
Credit Suisse said it suffered “Significant net asset outflows“Especially in the second half of March.
Its shares tumbled as investors feared for the health of the troubled lender, forcing it to borrow billions from the Swiss central bank to boost confidence in the bank’s finances. Shareholders have been on edge about Credit Suisse for months, worried about its credibility amid losses and a series of scandals and financial missteps.
But the Swiss government eventually forced the company to sell to UBS for $3.2 billion. The transaction, the highest-profile banking deal since the 2008 financial crisis, was one of the most drastic attempts to calm markets amid the turmoil caused by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in mid-March.
While client withdrawals have eased at Credit Suisse, they have not yet reversed, and UBS, which is due to report its own earnings on Tuesday, has its work cut out for it as it prepares to absorb its stricken rival. Analysts have said UBS is paying a steep discount, but Credit Suisse may find it difficult to bring back clients, especially as other rivals seek to pick up clients and top employees.
Credit Suisse, meanwhile, still has 108 billion Swiss francs worth of debt from the Swiss National Bank, although it repaid 60 billion in the quarter.
As part of its financial report on Monday, Credit Suisse reported earnings of 12.4 billion Swiss francs in the quarter, a record. But it has been tied to paper gains since it wrote off $17 billion worth of its bonds — part of Swiss government regulations for bank bailouts that drew lawsuits from angry investors.
Without that unusual accounting maneuver, the company lost 1.3 billion Swiss francs.
In Monday’s announcement, Credit Suisse also said it had closed a $175 million deal to buy the boutique investment bank of longtime deal maker and former board member Michael Klein. Credit Suisse’s investment bank Mr. The acquisition was part of a complex financial transformation plan that included merging with Cleanse and eventually spinning off the combined business.