Credit-Suisse: Attorney General initiates investigation into takeover


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Business Switzerland

The Office of the Attorney General initiates investigations into the Credit Suisse takeover

Zurich financial center

Zurich financial center

Source: Michael Buholzer/KEYSTONE/dpa

After a series of scandals and the takeover by the major bank UBS, the Office of the Attorney General now wants to ensure that Switzerland’s financial center is “clean”. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of jobs could soon be cut in the money house.

DThe Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office has in connection with the takeover of Scandalbank Credit Suisse (CS) through the big bank UBS investigation initiated. “The federal prosecutor’s office has taken note of the media coverage of the events surrounding CS over the past few days and has made an assessment of the situation with all internal departments involved,” the authority said on Sunday.

“In addition, contact was sought with national and cantonal authorities. Investigation orders were also issued,” it said. The Financial Times first reported on the investigation. The federal prosecutor stated that they wanted to fulfill their responsibility to “contribute to a clean financial center in Switzerland”.

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It is about “analyzing and identifying” possible crimes, it said. “In this context, various internal and external bodies were commissioned or contacted with the aim of clarifying and collating information.”

The short-term takeover of the ailing Credit Suisse by the largest Swiss bank UBS for around three billion Swiss francs was announced on March 19. According to the Swiss government, this was the best solution to restore lost trust.

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk

The second largest Swiss bank, like UBS, is considered systemically important, but has been shaken by scandals for two years. Among other things, it is said to have enabled money laundering and helped criminals and controversial or corrupt politicians and officials to conduct their business. Massive losses followed, dwindling customer and investor confidence and finally financing problems.

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When the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank shook the entire banking sector in the USA and the largest shareholder no longer wanted to invest any more capital, Credit Suisse could no longer be held despite a cash injection from the central bank.

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In Switzerland, the takeover of Credit Suisse is very controversial because it creates an even larger financial institution. The Swiss financial regulator Finma is investigating whether and how Credit Suisse managers can be held accountable. Parliament wants to decide in April whether to set up a committee of inquiry.

The planned savings at the major Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS could lead to the loss of 25,000 to 36,000 jobs. This was reported by the “Sonntagszeitung” of the Swiss “Tages-Anzeiger”, citing an anonymous senior UBS manager.

The two institutes together have more than 120,000 employees. Credit Suisse did not want to comment on this, UBS was initially unavailable, as reported by the “Handelsblatt”. UBS had announced that it wanted to save $6 billion in personnel costs. Assuming around $200,000 per employee, this would correspond to around 30,000 jobs.

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