Swiss financial regulator FINMA CEO quits in wake of Credit Suisse collapse

ZURICH, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The head of Switzerland’s financial watchdog FINMA has resigned nearly six months after the body drew heavy criticism for failing to prevent the collapse of Credit Suisse.

Urban Angehrn will step down at the end of September 2023, FINMA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Angehrn, who has led the regulator since November 2021, said he was quitting for health reasons.

“Being able to contribute to the sustainable improvement of the quality of the Swiss financial center as CEO of FINMA was a unique challenge for me, and one that I tackled with all my might,” Angehrn said.

“However, the high and permanent stress level had health consequences. I have considered my decision carefully and have now decided to step down.”

FINMA said Deputy CEO Birgit Rutishauser will act as interim CEO from Oct. 1.

“The Board of Directors very much regrets this decision and would like to thank Urban Angehrn for his lasting contribution to FINMA during an exceptionally challenging period,” the statement said.

The regulator has come under fire for failing to act sooner, or more effectively, to halt the string of scandals at Credit Suisse in recent years.

Swiss media has accused FINMA of being too cautious around Switzerland’s large banks, which they reported did not take the regulator seriously.

Credit Suisse for example gave FINMA false and overly positive statements about its business relationship with financier Lex Greensill, the regulator said earlier this year.

The bank’s dealings with Greensill eventually caused a 1.6 billion Swiss franc ($1.80 billion) loss for what was formerly Switzerland’s second-largest lender.

FINMA also communicated poorly and assigned too few people to oversee the big banks, local media reported.

From a staff of 550 people, the core supervisory team for Credit Suisse was only five people, although this was expanded last year.

In response, Angehrn said FINMA was not to blame for Credit Suisse’s failure, and argued the authority needed stronger powers, including the ability to impose sanctions and hand out fines, as is already the case in other countries.

“This is tried and tested practice in other financial centers and strengthens the precautionary effect of supervision,” he wrote in Swiss newspaper NZZ in July.

“FINMA would like the companies it supervises to clearly allocate responsibility to the people in the management bodies,” he added. “This strengthens the corporate culture, sharpens risk awareness, and makes it easier for the supervisory authority to intervene with managers.”

Credit Suisse came to the brink of collapse in March when trust evaporated, leading rattled savers to withdraw billions in cash.

The stricken bank was eventually bought by cross-town rival UBS in a state-engineered 3 billion Swiss franc rescue.

The acquisition, the biggest banking deal since the 2008 financial crisis, has triggered scores of legal cases brought by disgruntled investors who lost money when certain bonds were wiped out or were unhappy with the exchange ratio for their stock.

Image by: Finma

Shopping Cart

Media Kit

    Data Protection

    Personal Data (“Data”) submitted for Media Kit (“Media Kit”), and/or collected in the form of first name, last name, email address and other contact details may be used for the purposes of inviting you to future events and for reaching out to you with content which may be of interest to you. For these purposes, The Digital Banker will share the Data with our associate companies (including event and content sponsors) to promote their products and services. You will also be automatically subscribed as a user on www.thedigitalbanker.com. If you would like to opt-out, email us at [email protected].

    By clicking Submit, you acknowledge that you consent/ have sufficient informed consent to the collection, use and disclosure of Data as set out above.

    The Digital Banker Summit

    Moving on from FTX: is 2023 the year of CBDCs?

    Indonesia, Jakarta

    Thailand, Bangkok

    Philippines, Manila

    Contact Us

      Data Protection

      The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

      Request Nomination Pack

        Data Protection

        The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

        Registration Form

          Data Protection

          The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

          Registration Form

            Data Protection

            The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

            Registration Form

              Data Protection

              The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

              Registration Form

                Data Protection

                The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

                Registration Form

                  Data Protection

                  The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

                  The world’s preeminent Private Banks and Wealth Managers are demonstrating a committed drive in innovation, advisory, new products and services to meet the sophisticated needs of their clients.

                  COVID-19
                  Amid economic activity revival on the back of the Covid-19 vaccine program, organisations moving from business continuity plans to stable working environments, together with the slightest improvement in unemployment numbers, forced the world to adjust to new realities. Coming to terms with the “new normal”, global investors are now on the look-out for attractive and stable investment opportunities.

                  Needs of Private Wealth customers and families worldwide have drastically changed due to the pandemic and banks have had to accelerate efforts to deploy a multi-channel service strategy and safeguard clients’ businesses and wealth against negative impacts of economic uncertainly.

                  The Global Private Banking Innovation Awards will recognise the world’s best private banks, wealth managers and asset managers that are championing innovation across advisory, service, products, customer experience and more.

                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. 

                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

                  Request Nomination Pack

                  Error: Contact form not found.