ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of Switzerland’s financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse Group AG over risks in its dealings with now-insolvent finance firm Greensill Capital “months” before the bank was forced to close $10 billion of funds linked to Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.
Alongside formal discussions on a technical level between the bank and FINMA, the watchdog’s head Mark Branson personally discussed the risks with outgoing Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein during a meeting on an unspecified date, the newspaper reported, citing information it had obtained.
FINMA and Credit Suisse declined to comment to Reuters.
Switzerland’s second-biggest bank has been reeling from its exposure to the collapse first of Greensill Capital and then Archegos Capital Management within the course of one month.
Credit Suisse’s asset management unit was last month forced to shut $10 billion of supply chain finance funds that invested in bonds issued by Greensill after the British firm lost credit insurance coverage shortly before filing for insolvency. The bank has since suspended the funds’ managers and changed the head of its asset management unit.
Huge losses at U.S. investment fund Archegos this month also prompted Credit Suisse to replace its heads of investment banking and of compliance and risk after it said it would book a $4.7 billion first-quarter charge from its exposure to the stricken firm.
SonntagsZeitung on Sunday reported that Archegos founder Bill Hwang could have drawn up to $10 billion worth of credit from Credit Suisse, citing information from an internal source that the bank had assumed nine-fold leverage on the exposure.
Credit Suisse and Archegos declined to comment to Reuters on the matter.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Additional reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Rachel Armstrong, Susan Fenton, Jane Merriman and Karishma Singh)