The era of Swiss exceptionalism is over

The country’s business model as banker for the global elites has crashed and burned

Saudi Arabia and Qatar were enraged by moves to wipe out Credit Suisse stockholders without a vote by the board, in violation of shareholder rights, and at the outer boundaries of legality. “They told the Swiss that all their other investments in Switzerland would be called into question if it happened,” said the regulator.

The Swiss backed down. They expropriated $17bn (£13.8bn) from holders of Credit Suisse convertible AT1 bonds instead, risking contagion through Europe’s $270bn market for junior bank debt at a perilous moment. This is just as bad for Switzerland’s credibility.

“Switzerland will never be the same again. The reputation of Swiss banking has now been damaged forever. Bankers in Singapore are going to be popping corks” said professor Arturo Bris from the Swiss business school IMD.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 24 March  2023


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