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Credit Suisse is facing the first investor lawsuit in the US over meltdown


Credit Suisse Group AG was hit with its first US investor lawsuit over the bank’s recent troubles, alleging that the bank overstated its financial outlook to shareholders.

The proposed class action complaint, filed in federal court in Camden, New Jersey, alleges that the bank made “materially false and misleading statements” in its 2021 annual report.

The lawsuit was brought by the Rosen law firm, which specializes in representing individual shareholders in such lawsuits and was also the first to sue Silicon Valley Bank after it went into receivership last week. Complaints filed by larger investors usually become major shareholder issues.

According to the complaint, Credit Suisse has not identified material deficiencies in its internal controls in its 2021 annual report that have since come to light.

Following the release of the bank’s fourth quarter report for 2022 on Feb. 9, the price of Credit Suisse American depositary shares fell 15.6%, according to the lawsuit.

The share plummeted further on the news in early March that the bank would delay the publication of its annual report for 2022. Credit Suisse finally announced on March 14 that it had identified “material deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022 and 2021,” the indictment said.

The indictment includes an allegation that chairman Axel Lehmann said in multiple media outlets in December that outflows had “basically stopped” and few customers had left, when the bank actually experienced significant outflows in the fourth quarter.

Lehmann is named as a defendant in the indictment along with other current and former officers.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on the complaint.

The case is Turner v. Credit Suisse, 23-cv-01476, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Camden).

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.