CEO Credit Suisse Calls on Staff to Keep a Cool Head


CEO Ulrich Körner of the troubled Swiss bank Credit Suisse calls on his staff to keep a cool head and to focus on the facts to stop the unrest around the bank. He also promised to move ahead quickly to streamline the bank’s operations.


Körner, the top boss since July last year, faces the challenge of restoring confidence in the bank. Switzerland’s second-largest bank has suffered reputational damage and extensive customer and capital outflows from a series of costly scandals. For example, Credit Suisse did business with investment fund Archegos and the financing company Greensill, which collapsed in 2021 due to risky behaviour. As a result, the bank suffered its most significant loss since the financial crisis of 2008 last year.

Under Körner, Credit Suisse is now undertaking a major restructuring to cut costs, resulting in the loss of 9,000 jobs. In a memo to the staff, the CEO said that the bank must continue to focus on the transformation that has begun. Clear communication is essential to ensure our clients and other stakeholders understand the bank’s strengths, our strategy and the rapid progress we are making to create the new Credit Suisse.

The memo to staff followed shortly after the bank agreed with the Swiss central bank to borrow more than 50 billion euros. That extra support came after Credit Suisse’s share price plunge of almost 25 percent on Wednesday. A comment from the chairman of Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder, caused panic. He said he had no intention of investing extra in the bank. However, the chairman of Saudi National Bank explained that this was not possible due to applicable rules and that Credit Suisse has not asked for help either. According to the chairman, the price drop was “completely unfounded”.

The global banking sector has been under scrutiny since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Körner spoke of a “difficult week for the entire banking sector” after the collapse of the two US banks. The delay of Credit Suisse’s annual report has also led to “more attention for Credit Suisse”, he says. The bank had to postpone the publication of its annual report last week after a request for additional information from the US regulator SEC.

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