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Credit Suisse takes $4.7 billion hit from Archegos hedge fund scandal; execs step down


A Swiss flag flies over a sign of Credit Suisse in Bern, Switzerland

FABRICE COFFRINI | AFP | Getty Images

Credit Suisse on Tuesday announced several high-level staff departures and proposed a cut to its dividend as it weighs heavy losses from the Archegos Capital saga.

The Swiss lender now expects a first-quarter pre-tax loss of around 900 million Swiss francs ($960.4 million), after taking a charge of 4.4 billion Swiss francs as a result of the scandal.

“The significant loss in our Prime Services business relating to the failure of a U.S.-based hedge fund is unacceptable,” CEO Thomas Gottstein said in a trading update.

Investment Bank CEO Brian Chin and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer Lara Warner will step down from their roles with immediate effect, the bank said.

Last week, Credit Suisse revealed that it was expecting heavy losses in the wake of the meltdown of U.S. hedge fund Archegos Capital. The bank was forced to dump a significant amount of stock to sever its ties to the troubled family office.

The executive board has also waived its bonuses for the 2020 financial year, the bank announced Tuesday, with Chairman Urs Rohner giving up his “chair fee” of 1.5 million Swiss francs.

At its AGM on April 30, Credit Suisse will now propose a dividend of 0.10 Swiss francs gross per share along with the amended compensation report.

“Particularly following the significant US-based hedge fund matter, the Board of Directors is amending its proposal on the distribution of dividends and withdrawing its proposals on variable compensation of the Executive Board,” the Swiss lender said in a trading update.

It has suspended its share buyback program and said it does not intend to resume share purchases until it has regained its target capital ratios and restored its dividend.

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