Credit Suisse has reached an agreement to be purchased by rival UBS, ending its 167-year run as an independent institution.
Credit Suisse developed a reputation for taking risks that many other banks wouldn’t. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the bank emerged from the 2008 crisis stronger than many rivals, a position that emboldened it to continue its freewheeling style.
“They felt, ‘We are the winner from the financial crisis, and everyone else is hurt,’” said Andreas Venditti, a Vontobel banking analyst. “So they doubled down on these kinds of businesses and on investment-banking exposure in general.”
Unfortunately, the bank’s reputation caught up with it, and amid the economic downturn and failing banks, investors were more rattled than expected. The bank’s stocks tanked, and it struggled to compete with other banks for deals critical to its survival.
“Credit Suisse’s problem for decades, and I really mean decades, is terrible operational risk management,” said Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, a U.S.-based consultant bank regulation consultant. “Everyone lets them get away with it: The U.K., the U.S., the Swiss.”
While regulators may have let Credit Suisse get away with its antics, the market didn’t.