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Credit Suisse sees central bank cash as buying time for overhaul- executive tells SRF



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in front of an office building in Zurich, Switzerland March 16, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse sees its access to 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.98 billion) of central bank funding as “precautionary liquidity” to allow the embattled lender to continue its revamp, the head of its Swiss business said.

Following a crisis of confidence that wiped 25% off the value of Credit Suisse shares on Wednesday, the bank sought an emergency liquidity line from the Swiss National Bank in the first such move for a global lender since the financial crisis of 2008.

“We see it as precautionary liquidity so that we can carry out the transformation of Credit Suisse and continue to work well in this turbulent situation,” Andre Helfenstein, CEO of Credit Suisse’s Swiss bank, told broadcaster SRF in an interview published late Thursday.

“Of course 50 billion francs is a big number. However, the 50 billion should be seen as a sign that we want to continue our transformation successfully and also send a clear signal to the market and to our clients.”

Helfenstein said Credit Suisse was working hard to stem customers outflows, although this could take time.

“We work on it consistently every day,” he told SRF in the interview. “But it’s also not something that happens overnight.

“We have to try to get in touch with our customers and win them back step by step with open discussions,” he added.

($1 = 0.9262 Swiss francs)

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