Credit Suisse shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a plan to sell 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.1 billion) of new shares to raise capital, allowing the banking giant to keep full control of its profitable Swiss unit. The capital raising plans, announced last month, received 99.35 percent of the votes at an extraordinary general meeting in Zurich. Credit Suisse announced the capital hike on April 26, shelving its longstanding plans to partially float its Swiss banking unit through an initial public offering. The bank previously raised 6 billion francs in 2015.
Credit Suisse USA said Tuesday it will expand its Research Triangle Park operations, creating 1,200 new jobs and spending $70.5 million on capital investments. Eric Varvel, president and chief executive of Credit Suisse USA, said the company had planned to expand earlier in North Carolina, but held off because of House Bill 2, known as the transgender restroom law. “While it was on the books, we chose to halt our expansion plans in the state and consider other options,” Varvel said. “We realize the recent repeal of HB2 contains some compromises, and while not perfect, it is an important first step that re-establishes the minimum conditions for us to expand our presence in the state.”
Credit Suisse has just reported first quarter earnings which show Switzerland's second-largest bank beating expectations, helped by a strong performance across the board. The bank simultaneously announced its intention to pursue a 4 billion swiss franc ($4 billion) capital raise. It said the first quarter had provided "further confirmation" that it was delivering "profitable and complaint growth" and had "generated positive momentum across our businesses".
Swiss Economic Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann had strong words for Credit Suisse bonus. Asked over the issue on Sunday by Zentralschweiz am Sonntag, he said that so-called fat-cat salaries for top bankers are stupid and divisive. The minister, part of the nation’s governing seven-member cabinet, was commenting about payouts to senior managers of Switzerland’s second-largest bank, Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse, which set up a European hub in Dublin creating 100 jobs last year to service hedge fund clients, may apply for a full banking licence in Ireland as it prepares to move jobs out of London following the UK's decision to quit the European Union, according to sources. Credit Suisse received regulatory approval in December 2015 to operate as a direct branch of the group’s Zurich headquarters, becoming the first and only bank to date to avail of a change in Irish law in 2013 that allowed non-EU banks to set up a branch in Ireland. Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Paris and Brussels are among the main locations competing with Dublin to lure financial services activity from London in the wake of the Brexit referendum last June. However, despite the triggering of Article 50 last month, it is understood that Credit Suisse has, as yet, no preferred location.
Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam and the bank's board of directors have offered to cut their own bonuses by 40% ahead of its annual meeting. They also proposed to keep total board pay at the same level as 2015 and 2016. The move follows pressure from Swiss lawmakers and the bank's shareholders to address excessive executive pay. Glass Lewis & Co and Geneva-based Ethos, which advises major Swiss pension funds that may represent up to 5 per cent of the bank's market capitalisation, also criticised the bonuses. The pair had opposed executive and director compensation packages last year, as well, without success. Still, at that meeting, almost one in five shareholders voted to reject the proposed packages.
The Italian Tax Agency Revenue compiled a list of possible tax evaders. After 750 Italian papers identified in Panama, there's other special surveillance: 3,500 Credit Suisse clients who signed life insurance policies (known as polizza mantello in italian) and numbered bank accounts. Rossella Orlandi, Director of the Agency, has announced on Thursday to send very soon to Swtizerland collective requests for taxpayers who didn't seize the opportunity offered by the first voluntary disclosure and didn't comply with the tax authorities.
Proxy adviser Glass Lewis on Tuesday recommended Credit Suisse shareholders reject its proposal to pay 25.99 million Swiss francs ($25.9 million) in short-term bonuses to the executive board in a binding vote at the April 28 annual general meeting. The amount appears “wholly inappropriate given the loss suffered by shareholders in the last two fiscal years,” the San Francisco-based proxy adviser said in its recommendations for the bank’s annual meeting on April 28. Proposed compensation for the board of directors is “excessive,” as Bloomberg reported.
Credit Suisse extended its global charm offensive on Monday insisting it has "zero tolerance" for tax evasion after hundreds of its clients and top employees became the target of an international fraud probe. The Zurich-based bank took out multiple adverts in British newspapers over the weekend as part of a damage-limitation effort after law enforcement agencies descended on three of its European offices Friday in a coordinated raid related to a tax evasion and money laundering probe. "Credit Suisse applies a strict zero tolerance policy and wishes to conduct business with clients that have paid their taxes and fully declared their assets," Monday's ad said. The bank complies "with all applicable laws" in areas where it operates, it added.
Credit Suisse, surprised by a five-country tax evasion and money laundering investigation, said it has a “zero tolerance policy” on tax evasion in advertisements taken out in the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and Observer, U.K. newspapers on Sunday. The Swiss bank’s two-page ads, which included seven bullet points in response to the probes disclosed last week, also said a 2011 internal compliance review caused it to terminate relationships with clients who didn’t prove they paid their taxes. “This led to very significant asset outflows as we do not want to do business with clients who are unwilling to provide the required evidence,” said the ads. “Credit Suisse applies a strict zero tolerance policy on tax evasion.”
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