Credit Suisse delays annual report after SEC call, stocks fall

  • SEC questions past Credit Suisse financial statements
  • Questions on consolidated cash, associated controls
  • Credit Suisse says 2022 financial results will be ‘unaffected’
  • Analyst describes bank as ‘major construction site’

ZURICH, March 9 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse has postponed publication of its annual report after a last-minute call from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which raised questions about its earlier financial statements.

The unusual intervention by the US regulator is the latest blow to Credit Suisse as it tries to restore investor confidence after a series of scandals and setbacks that have sent its shares plunging and led to clients withdrawing billions.

Credit Suisse shares were near an all-time low in Zurich on Thursday, but then recovered much of a 6% loss.

The Zurich-based bank said the SEC called it late Wednesday regarding “certain open comments from the SEC regarding the technical assessment of previously disclosed revisions to the consolidated cash flow statements for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. , as well as controls.”

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The bank had revised how it accounted for a range of cash flows, including stock compensation and currency hedges.

Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) said that following the call, it had decided to postpone the publication of its 2022 annual report.

“Management believes it is prudent to briefly delay the publication of its accounts to better understand the comments received,” she said, adding that the 2022 financial results “are not impacted.”

The SEC declined to comment on the matter, a spokesperson for the organization said.

Other regulators were not involved, said a person familiar with the matter.

Swiss financial regulator Finma told Reuters that Credit Suisse informed it of the delayed release.

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo/File Photo

“We are in contact with the bank,” Finma said.


It is still unclear when the annual report will be released and Credit Suisse’s announcement has analysts worried.

“(It) doesn’t help investor sentiment and it doesn’t help restore confidence,” Vontobel’s Andreas Venditti said.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank has embarked on a major overhaul of its business, cutting costs and jobs to revive its fortunes, including creating a separate business for its investment bank under the CS First Boston brand.

Daniel Bosshard of Luzerner Kantonalbank described Credit Suisse as “a major construction site” and said the “stock is only suitable for turnaround speculators”.

In February, Credit Suisse announced that 2022 had recorded its biggest annual loss since the 2008 global financial crisis after shaken customers withdrew funds from the bank, and it warned that a further “substantial” loss would come. This year.

Among a series of scandals, Credit Suisse was hit hard by the collapse of US investment firm Archegos in 2021 as well as the freezing of billions in supply chain finance funds linked to insolvent UK financier Greensill .

The bank has also been rocked by a lawsuit in Switzerland involving money laundering for a criminal gang.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Credit Suisse to above junk status in November last year.

Additional reporting by John Revill in Zurich; Editing by John O’Donnell, Tomasz Janowski and Alexander Smith

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