Credit Suisse postpones annual report after SEC call, shares fall

  • SEC asked questions about the bank’s previous financial statements
  • SEC questions pertain to consolidated cash flow statements, related controls
  • Bank says 2022 financial results ‘unaffected’
  • Analyst describes bank as ‘big construction site’

ZURICH, March 9 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse has delayed the release of its annual report after a last-minute call from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that raised questions about its past financial statements.

The unusual intervention by the US regulator is the latest blow to Credit Suisse as the lender reels from a series of scandals and setbacks that have sent its share price plummeting and clients withdrawing billions.

Shares of Credit Suisse fell about 6% to hit an all-time low during early afternoon trading in Zurich on Thursday.

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

The bank had revised the way it accounted for a range of cash flows, including share-based compensation and currency hedging.

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After the call, Credit Suisse said it had decided to postpone the publication of its annual report.

“Management believes it is prudent to briefly delay the release of its accounts to more thoroughly understand the comments received,” it said, adding that its 2022 financial results are “unaffected.”

The SEC did not immediately respond to an after-hours call and email request for comment from Reuters.

Other regulatory agencies besides the SEC were not involved, a person familiar with the matter said.

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


It is still unclear when the annual report for 2022 will be released.

The bank’s announcement was not well received by analysts.

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

Vontobel’s Andreas Venditti said the development “is not helping investor sentiment and it is not helping restore confidence.”

In February, Credit Suisse Group reported that 2022 saw its biggest annual loss since the 2008 global financial crisis after hounded customers withdraw money from banks, warning of another “significant” loss to come this year.

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

In addition to a series of scandals, Credit Suisse was hit hard by the 2021 collapse of US investment firm Archegos and the freezing of multibillion-dollar supply chain financing funds linked to insolvent British financier Greensill.

Other scandals that rocked the bank included a prosecution in Switzerland related to money laundering for a criminal gang.

Last November, rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the bank to just one level above junk.

Additional reporting by John Revill in Zurich; edited by John O’Donnell and Tomasz Janowski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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