scorecardCredit Suisse's chairman says he's 'truly sorry' as angry investors crash the rescued bank's final shareholder meeting
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Credit Suisse's chairman says he's 'truly sorry' as angry investors crash the rescued bank's final shareholder meeting

George Glover   

Credit Suisse's chairman says he's 'truly sorry' as angry investors crash the rescued bank's final shareholder meeting
Investment2 min read
  • Credit Suisse Chair Axel Lehmann apologized to attendees of the bank's final shareholder meeting.
  • The 167-year-old Swiss bank was rescued by its longtime rival UBS last month.

Credit Suisse's chairman told shareholders Tuesday that he was "truly sorry" about the bank's recent troubles, which led it to it being rescued by longtime rival UBS.

"It's a sad day for you, and for us too," Axel Lehmann said at the 167-year-old Swiss bank's final annual general meeting. "I can understand the bitterness, the anger, and the shock of all those who are disappointed, overwhelmed, and affected by the developments."

"We wanted to put all our energy and our efforts into turning the situation around," he added. "It pains me that we didn't have the time to do so and that that fateful week in March our plans were thwarted – and for that I am truly sorry."

Videos posted by Bloomberg TV and CNBC International showed angry investors and climate protesters gathering at the bank's last-ever shareholder meeting, which took place at Zürich's hockey arena.

Some carried a boat labeled "Crisis Suisse" in a final jab at the bank's mismanagement, according to a report by the Associated Press.

After a string of scandals, which included being found guilty of laundering drug money and taking huge hits from the collapse of clients Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital Management, Credit Suisse's share price crashed last month after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in the US fueled concerns about the health of financial institutions across the world.

It was then rescued by UBS in a government-backed deal that valued the bank at just 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion) – which equated to just 1% of the all-time high market capitalization it had reached back in 2007.

Credit Suisse shareholders were unable to vote on the takeover because the Swiss government pushed it through using emergency measures in a bid to prevent the spread of further contagion across markets.

Many investors and proxy advisers have signaled that they'll show their opposition to the proposed deal by voting against several members of Credit Suisse's board, including its chair Lehmann – although five directors have already chosen to stand down rather than campaign for re-election.

Read more: Credit Suisse rescue: The biggest winners and losers from UBS's historic deal




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