CS hit with US fine for misleading investors

Switzerland’s second biggest bank, Credit Suisse, has been fined 90 million dollars by United States financial regulators.

CS hit with US fine for misleading investors
Bank customers were not affected. File photo: Emmanuel Dunand

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Wednesday the bank had failed to fully comply with its own regulations on net new assets in the private banking division.

Information supplied by Credit Suisse on net new assets had been “misleading”, the SEC said, according to media reports.

Regulators said the misrepresentation of the financial benchmark had taken place from the fourth quarter of 2011 at the latest until the fourth quarter of 2012.

In private banking net new assets are an important indicator for wealthy clients of the attractiveness of a financial institution and of its future earnings power.

According to the SEC, the former chief operating officer of the private banking division, Rolf Bögli, played a decisive role in the matter.

Bögli is alleged to have put pressure on employees to classify certain client assets as assets under management instead of assets held under custody, thereby generating higher fees.

The former COO can avoid further action by paying an 80,000-dollar penalty.

In a statement, Credit Suisse said it would pay the fine and settle the dispute.

It said it had cooperated with the inquiry and had “undertaken appropriate internal remedial efforts”.

The bank noted it had not been accused of intentional misconduct or of incorrectly reporting new assets.

“Credit Suisse clients were not harmed,” it said.

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