Credit Suisse Investors say they want the board of directors in jail after they blocked executive pay plans during the final ever annual meeting.
According to The Guardian, shareholders used most of the nearly five-hour annual general meeting in Zurich – the last in the 167-year-old bank’s history – to voice fury over poor management, hitting out at excessive pay for “incompetent and greedy” bankers who they said took too many risks and endangered Switzerland’s economic prosperity.
In November of 2022, the bank warned investors in a 6-K filing of potential losses due to naked short covering.
Credit Suisse took a massive hit of $4.09 billion in Q3 and hinted at occurring losses in an upturn in markets.
The bank hired 20 banks for a $4 billion injection in effort to pivot from Q3’s disaster and also postponed publication of its annual report earlier this year, per Reuters.
This led clients to withdraw billions of dollars, sending shares on a freefall.
Even after the bank was bailed out, investors continued to pull their money out.
UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse but sources say 10,000 jobs may have to be cut if the two banks combine.
Investors Scrutinize Credit Suisse in Last Ever Shareholder Meeting
Board members were criticized for being too quick to agree to its takeover by UBS last month and striking a bad deal for investors, although bosses said the only alternative was bankruptcy.
“This is a dishonorable day for Switzerland,” one investor said.
“I believe we have basically lost trust in the Swiss financial sector.”
Another lamented the collapse of its shares, which he said were now worth no more than a “sack of walnuts”, and offered some shells as a gift to the chair, Axel Lehmann.
Another said it meant livelihoods of pensioners who relied on Credit Suisse stock had “gone up in smoke”, and warned that people “might even think of killing themselves because they no longer have any money left”.
He said the board needed to be held responsible for the many scandals that plagued the bank, including tax evasion and fraud.
“These people should be taken to court, should be put behind bars, and should no longer be allowed to practice their profession,” the shareholder said.
Credit Suisse Chairman Blamed Retail Investors
Credit Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann blamed the bank’s collapse on retail investors during an interview in Switzerland.
“Last autumn we had a social media storm and this had huge repercussions, more in the retail sector than in the wholesale sector, and too much becomes too much.
And that’s when we reached this point, it’s an accumulation of various facts that contributed to one another then materialized at some point.
And this then caused the situation.”
Axel Lehmann’s response to who was responsible for the disaster of Credit Suisse only goes to show the lack of accountability.
The bank’s own investors said Credit Suisse board members should go to jail and be prohibited from practicing in the profession.
The question is how many more times will banks continue to screw the average investor?
Retail investors have mocked Credit Suisse for its attempt to short and distort AMC Entertainment just months before its troubles.
While many thought the largest movie theatre chain in the world would fall for bankruptcy, it was the bank who ironically turned out to be the biggest disaster in the financial and banking industry.
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