Credit Suisse raises more than £3bn to plug capital hole

Bank announces plan in quarterly results ahead of extraordinary general meeting on 18 May

Credit Suisse
(Image credit: FABRICE COFFRINI / Stringer)

Credit Suisse has announced it is raising more than £3bn to bolster its capital reserves without selling off its core Swiss retail banking operations.

Announcing its quarterly results yesterday, the group said it will raise SFr 4bn (£3.1bn) from existing shareholders.

The bank already raised SFr 6bn (£4.7bn) from investors in 2015, says the BBC, when it also announced a restructuring that would have seen it reduce its stake in its domestic banking business through a stock market listing.

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However, bosses abandoned that plan this February and said they would seek to raise between SFr 2bn (£1.57bn) and SFr 4bn from investors to plug a capital gap identified by regulators.

The bank had not been expected to announce anything on the capital raising in its quarterly results,

As the issue is "not on the agenda for the shareholding meeting on Friday", the capital raising was not expected to be mentioned yesterday, says the Financial Times.

But, it adds, "Credit Suisse detailed plans for an extraordinary general meeting on 18 May so shareholders can vote on the sale of SFr 4bn of new stock to existing investors at an implied discount of 29 per cent to Tuesday's closing price".

It is also seeking to reduce costs, including through cutting 5,500 jobs.

The bank says the new capital boost will increase its core tier one equity ratio - the main regulatory measure of capital reserves to be drawn in the event of a crisis - to 13.4 per cent, which is "in line with European peers".

However, Bernstein analyst Chirantan Barua said: "The capital raise should be enough to allay concerns in the near term, but doesn't really give the franchise the flexibility to see it through a downturn or meaningfully compete in global markets.

"We feel this raise doesn't really take capital totally out of the concern zone."

Credit Suisse's results showed a first-quarter profit of SFr 596m (£468m), up from SFr 302m (£237m) a year ago. Its share price rose 2.5 per cent in early trading.

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