Credit Suisse revealed the scale of the bank run which forced the company to submit to a takeover last week. Clients were frightened and withdrew £55 billion during the first three months.
In the three months leading up to the end March, the wealth management division, which is a core business of the group’s, saw net outflows totaling SwFr47.1 (£42.5) billion. The bank said that in the second half last month, after Swiss authorities orchestrated the rescue of its rival UBS by Swiss authorities, “significant withdrawals of cash deposits as well as non renewal of maturing time deposit” had taken place.
During the quarter, customer deposits dropped by SwFr67bn while net assets fell by SwFr61.2bn.
Credit Suisse reported that the outflows had stabilised at a much lower level, but they hadn’t yet reversed themselves as of 24 April.
It disclosed it would take a SwFr1.3b impairment “almost exclusively” related to its wealth-management business.
The withdrawals in Credit Suisse’s first quarter results shed light on the confidence crisis that brought the bank to the edge of collapse.
The Zurich-based group, which is 167 years old, is Switzerland’s 2nd largest bank and one the mainstays in the country’s Financial Services Industry. The Swiss public has been shocked and angry by its implosion. The Swiss authorities have ordered that the bank be merged into UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank. This deal is expected to lead to thousands job losses.
Credit Suisse has been plagued by scandals for the past year. Ulrich Korner was appointed as CEO in August last year to turn around the losing business. Korner’s plan included a radical restructuring and a spin-off part of the troubled Investment Banking decision. Credit Suisse, however, continued to lose money while Korner’s turnaround took years. It reported in February that its losses for the year had risen to SwFr7.29bn, the worst since the 2008 financial crises.
Investors feared that Credit Suisse was vulnerable to stress in the banking system after three regional American lenders went bankrupt in March. The run on the bank culminated with the sale of its assets at a discount to UBS, for SwFr3billion to prevent a catastrophic collapse.
The Swiss regulator ‘s decision that the bank’s so called additional tier one bonds be written down to zero has proven controversial among investors, even though UBS’s takeover retains some value for the shareholders. The market’s convention is that bondholders suffer losses first, before equity investors.
Credit Suisse announced yesterday that it had achieved a SwFr 12.8 billion profit before tax in the third quarter after wiping out SwFr 15 billion of additional Tier 1 debt. It fell to a SwFr1.3bn adjusted pre-tax profit once the writedown of the additional tier one debt and other items were removed.
Thomas Hallett, a broker analyst, stated that “the magnitude and outflows of money is alarming.” He also highlighted the challenges facing UBS. “Even if UBS can remove SwFr8 billion in costs by 2027, revenue is so damaged, it could be a drag on UBS’s operating results unless a more comprehensive restructuring plan is announced.”
Korner’s overhaul included a $210-million deal to purchase the boutique firm in New York run by Michael Klein. Klein is a veteran financier who was a former Credit Suisse boardmember. Klein would then spin off a part of Korner’s investment banking division as a separate company under the First Boston name, which he would run. Credit Suisse announced yesterday that the plan was scrapped and that they had “mutually decided to terminate” Klein’s acquisition.
First Republic Bank , a regional American lender, beat expectations for quarterly profits last night but revealed that its deposits have fallen by 41%, sending its shares lower by 16% in extended trading yesterday.
The San Francisco company, which is at the center of concerns over the financial health regional US banks, announced that deposits have fallen from $176 billion to $104.5 billion since the fourth quarter. It said it also expected to reduce its workforce by a quarter over the next few months.
After Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and Signature Bank failed last month, customers moved billions of dollars into larger institutions.
First Republic’s share price plummeted, forcing 11 other lenders to orchestrate a rescue of $30 billion. Before last night’s market update, the stock had dropped by 88 percent this year.
In after-hours trading, the shares dropped by 16.3 percent, or $2.60 to $13.40. The Biden administration has stated that it will guarantee additional deposits to smaller lenders, if necessary.