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Credit Suisse AT1: Bank challenges disclosure of documents related to FINMA order March 22, 2023

Financially troubled Credit Suisse is objecting to the disclosure to plaintiffs’ documents related to the decision issued by FINMA on March 22, 2023, through which the Swiss financial regulator had ordered the bank to write down even Contingent Capital Awards (CCAs).

The very surprising request was sent on May 31, 2023, to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court. However it seems that Credit Suisse only wants to give just the order document of March 19th and nothing else.

As previously reported by antigua.news on May 15, 2023, FINMA issued two decisions related to the Credit Suisse case. With the first one, issued on March 19, 2023, FINMA had ordered the write-down of AT1s. With the second, issued on March 22, 2023, the Swiss financial regulator had extended the write-down to CCAs as well.

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court on May 8, 2023, granting the plaintiffs’ request, had given FINMA until June 7 to hand over all documentation related to the write-down of the AT1 bonds.

Credit Suisse believes that the plaintiffs (who do not hold CCAs, these being special AT1 instruments reserved only for bank staff) would have no legitimate interest in knowing the documents and information that led to the issuance of the order dated March 22, 2023.

Moreover, according to Credit Suisse, there would be private (i.e., the bank’s corporate interests) and public (the State’s) interests that would oppose the disclosure of such information and would be considered to outweigh the plaintiffs’ interest in being allowed access to such information.

This argument seems unconvincing, however, if one only considers that it was precisely from reading the second decision (see news published by antigua.news on May 15, 2023) that it had emerged that even Credit suisse (i.e., the issuer of the bond prospectus) had warned FINMA about the absence of a contractual basis for proceeding with the write-down of the AT1s.

For this reason alone, therefore, it seems rather difficult to deny the plaintiffs’ interest in knowing the full details of the exceptions raised by CS to FINMA to oppose the write-down of the CCAs, which FINMA assimilates to the AT1’s.

The importance and uniqueness of the Credit Suisse AT1 case would also dictate maximum transparency on the part of all parties involved so that the public has access to all information and knows what happened in those feverish days at the turn of the Ides of March.

Incidentally, it was yesterday’s news that the Swiss parliament decided to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the write-down of Swiss Credit Suisse’s AT1s.

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has given the plaintiffs until July 7 to take a position on the opposition filed by Credit Suisse.

Below, antigua.news publishes a preview of the opposition filed by CS in full.



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