Credit Suisse (Reuters)
The head of “Credit Suisse” accused social media of flooding the bank
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) is studying ways to hold Credit Suisse officials accountable after the crisis that hit it, the head of the authority announced in media reports.
“We are not a criminal authority, but we are looking into the possibilities,” Marilyn Amstad said in an interview published by “NZ am Sonntag” newspaper on Sunday.
Under pressure from government and regulators, UBS’s swift intervention to rescue rival Credit Suisse has sparked controversy in Switzerland.
Many observers fear that UPS’s size has outstripped its capabilities, while Amstad said it must gradually raise capital and liquidity.
That prompted investors to sell their stakes in weaker companies such as Credit Suisse, which has been plagued by scandals over the past two years.
Axel Lehmann, chairman of the board of directors of “Credit Suisse”, accused social media of contributing to the imposition of the bank.
But according to Amstad, who previously worked at Credit Suisse, “it’s clear that social media controversies are not the cause of Credit Suisse’s problems”.
He added that the bank’s problems were “a long-term and the result of several scandals and management mistakes in recent years. The bank was already in the midst of a crisis of reputation and trust.”
Noting that Credit Suisse’s problems are not limited to one business department, he confirmed that the bank has a large number of employees who have done their jobs well.
“Weakness in taking responsibility”
“Ultimately, it failed because of numerous scandals and bad decisions made by the management. The bank management stuck to a strategy of taking too many risks for a long time, but could not manage these risks properly. This problem persisted. For many years,” the head of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority continued.
And he added, “I won’t name a name, but many mistakes have been made over the years. Credit Suisse had a cultural problem that reflected a weakness in taking responsibility.”
While several parties have called for a parliamentary inquiry to shed light on FENMA’s role in the crisis, some observers have accused the government and the watchdog of being slow.
But Marilyn Amstad downplayed the importance of these criticisms, especially since FINMA’s interventions with banks are not always publicized.
“Weak organizational culture and strategic management errors in evaluation cannot be completely eliminated by strict regulatory rules,” he asserted.
Three Swiss oppose a UBS takeover of Credit Suisse, according to a poll conducted by the Sotomo Institute and published by the Sonntag Blick newspaper on Sunday.
Four-fifths of respondents called on UBS to keep the operations of Credit Suisse’s local branch separate to avoid greater risk.
And 61% of those surveyed confirmed that they would prefer “Credit Suisse” to be nationalized by the government and then sold.
But the FINMA chief says there are few examples of successful nationalization of banks.
And he noted in the interview that “the union and the authorities agreed that this would be the worst solution for the state, taxpayers, the Swiss stock market and international markets.”
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