Swiss regulator FINMA concluded Tuesday that Credit Suisse had “seriously breached its supervisory obligations” regarding its business relationship with financier Lex Greensill and his companies. The embattled Swiss lender’s exposure to London-based Greensill Capital resulted in massive refunds to investors following the collapse of the supply chain finance firm in early 2021. “In its proceedings, FINMA concluded that Credit Suisse Group seriously breached its supervisory duty to adequately identify, limit and monitor risks in the context of the business relationship with Lex Greensill over a period of years,” the regulator said, adding that it also found “serious deficiencies in the bank’s organisational structures” during the period under investigation. “Furthermore, it did not sufficiently fulfil its supervisory duties as an asset manager. FINMA thus concludes that there has been a serious breach of Swiss supervisory law.”
Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Körner welcomed the conclusion of the FINMA investigation in a statement Tuesday. “This marks an important step towards the final resolution of the SCFF issue. FINMA’s review has reinforced many of the findings of the Board-initiated independent review and underlines the importance of the actions we have taken in recent years to strengthen our Risk and Compliance culture. We also continue to focus on maximizing recovery for fund investors,” he said. In March 2021, Credit Suisse closed four supply chain finance funds at short notice related to Greensill companies. The funds were distributed to qualified investors with client documentation indicating low risk, and client exposure sat at around $10 billion at the time of the closure. The Greensill saga was a key reason behind Credit Suisse’s massive overhaul of its risk management and compliance operations, alongside the collapse of Archegos Capital.