At its last shareholder meeting as an independent business on Tuesday, Credit Suisse’s chair, Axel Lehmann, apologized to investors for the 167-year-old Swiss bank’s collapse. Lehmann addressed the bank’s AGM in Zurich and expressed his sadness over the situation.
Axel Lehmann confronts shareholders after bank rescued by UBS
In the end, ‘the bank could not be saved,’ the chairman says
He acknowledged that disappointment, shock, and anger were palpable among those affected by the recent developments of the past few weeks.
During the shareholder meeting, investors expressed their frustration over Credit Suisse’s forced acquisition by UBS, which the Swiss government implemented to prevent a global banking crisis.
Ethos, a shareholder advisory firm, criticized the bank’s executives for their “greed and incompetence” and exorbitant pay. The firm also prepared to challenge the top management at the meeting, stating that shareholders had suffered significant losses, and thousands of jobs were at risk.
Dominik Gross of the Swiss Alliance of Development Organisations expressed concern over the government’s use of emergency powers to push the acquisition through, stating that it went beyond legal and democratic norms. He also pointed out that Swiss taxpayers were responsible for billions of francs in junk investments, and there was little explanation from the government, FINMA, and the central bank regarding the state’s 9 billion franc loss guarantee to UBS.
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