Credit Suisse to borrow about $54 billion from Swiss central bank


Credit Suisse announced late Wednesday it was taking “decisive action” and borrowing up to 50 billion Swiss francs — about $54 billion — to ease investors’ fears.

The move comes as Credit Suisse stock
plunged Wednesday to an all-time low, sparking new fears of a global banking crisis.

Read more: Here’s why a failure of Credit Suisse matters to U.S. investors

Earlier Wednesday, the Swiss National Bank said it would provide liquidity to Credit Suisse, if needed.

Hours later, the Zurich-based bank took up the central bank on its offer, saying in a statement Wednesday night it was moving to “pre-emptively strengthen its liquidity by intending to exercise its option to borrow from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) up to CHF 50 billion under a Covered Loan Facility as well as a short-term liquidity facility, which are fully collateralized by high quality assets.”

Credit Suisse will also make a cash tender offer in relation to 10 U.S. dollar-denominated senior debt securities for an aggregate consideration of up to $2.5 billion.

 “These measures demonstrate decisive action to strengthen Credit Suisse as we continue our strategic transformation to deliver value to our clients and other stakeholders,” Chief Executive Ulrich Koerner said in a statement. “We thank the SNB and FINMA as we execute our strategic transformation. My team and I are resolved to move forward rapidly to deliver a simpler and more focused bank built around client needs.”  

More: Credit Suisse gets liquidity promise, but Wall Street not ‘out of the woods yet’

On Tuesday, Credit Suisse said in its annual report that it had material weaknesses in financial controls. The bank has lost money for five straight quarters, and its wealthy clients in the fourth quarter withdrew about $100 billion from the bank.

Shares plunged Wednesday after its largest investor, Saudi National Bank, said it would not provide it with further financial support, because doing so would exceed its 10% regulatory cap, according to Reuters.

The volatility follows the sudden failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York, which sent shockwaves through the banking industry.

U.S.-traded shares of Credit Suisse have sunk 25% over the past five trading sessions, and are down 73% over the past year.