It is going from bad to worse for Credit Suisse.
The Switzerland-based bank’s CEO, Tidjane Thiam, on Wednesday blamed traders for loading up on risky, illiquid assets without consulting senior leaders or notifying himself or his CFO.
Thiam said their actions, which were not in line with company strategy, are partly responsible for some $258 million in write-downs he expects for the first quarter.
On the same day, Bloomberg did a deep dive on an unnamed wealth manager who, with no previous finance experience, landed some of the bank’s top clients and defrauded them for 6 years, all to make his job easier. It seems the wealth manager in question didn’t actually pocket any additional profit himself.
That wealth manager, who can’t be named under Swiss law, now faces up to 10 years in jail for fraud, Bloomberg’s Hugo Miller, Jeffrey Voegeli, and Helena Bedwell report. Credit Suisse is also facing accusations of fraud from three wealth management clients, according to the report.
Here are the highlights of that story, via Bloomberg:
- The wealth manager went from having never worked in banking to handling some of Credit Suisse’s most prized clients two years later.
- But when his clients, like the Georgian business tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, complained about missing out on profits, he went rogue in an effort to get higher returns for his clients.
- He forged client orders to load up on highly-levered, risky bets by literally cutting out clients’ signatures and photocopying them over transfer orders. He’d then conceal those bets in statements to clients.
- He would also make up for losses in one account by transferring gains from another client’s account.
- Eventually, his levered bets unwound, he lost his clients a ton of money, and now he’s facing accusations of criminal mismanagement, misappropriation, forgery, and fraud.
It is worth noting that on Tuesday, news broke that Credit Suisse is teaming up with the artificial intelligence firm Palantir to monitor employees and weed out rogue traders.
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