- Some Credit Suisse shareholders had angry words for the board at its final annual general meeting.
- One investor held up walnut shells and said they were worth as much as a single share of the bank.
- Credit Suisse was acquired by rival UBS after the 167-year-old Swiss bank’s stock crashed last month.
Shareholders at Credit Suisse’s last-ever annual meeting vented their frustration, anger, and disappointment in remarks directed to the bank’s board.
The 167-year-old Swiss bank saw its stock crash last month before its rescue by rival bank UBS.
“It’s a sad day for you, and for us too,” Axel Lehmann, Credit Suisse’s chairman, told shareholders at the meeting in Zurich. “I can understand the bitterness, the anger, and the shock of all those who are disappointed, overwhelmed, and affected by the developments.”
The anger inside the meeting was shared by investors and climate protestors outside Zurich’s hockey arena where the meeting was held. A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment.
While the bank’s shareholders were unable to vote on UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse, some got their turn to let the board know how they felt — and they didn’t hold back.
Insider has reached out to the shareholders that it was able to identify for additional comment.
‘I didn’t bring my gun along this morning, don’t worry’
After sharing that he did not bring his gun to the final annual meeting, shareholder Guido Roethlisberger said that security checks at the door into the conference “were enough to annoy me,” according to a translation of his remarks.
He also said he was wearing a grey suit “because I think in the past some people within Credit Suisse definitely stepped outside what we might call the grey zone.”
The red tie he was wearing represented his anger, he said.
“Now, I chose my red tie this morning, I don’t own that many red ties, but I thought I’d wear this one today to represent the fact that I and plenty of others today are seeing red,” he said.
“Instead of reminding them of what would have been done to them in the Middle Ages, whether they would have been nailed to the cross, I would like to give them something that everyone needs”
Another angry shareholder appeared to be implying that Credit Suisse’s board would’ve been crucified during medieval times.
Earlier in his remarks, the shareholder said one share of Credit Suisse was worth over 80 Swiss francs 25 years ago, but today a share is not enough to afford a Swiss pastry.
“The value has decreased by about 99%,” he said. “And for this achievement, the best top managers of the world would have been paid not only millions but billions in bonuses. And now, they probably want a golden parachute to bid farewell to us as well. Have you ever asked yourself, how much is enough? How much is enough for a golden parachute that is on his crashing plane that is the Credit Suisse?”
One shareholder held up a handful of walnut shells and said “a bag of these costs around one share”
He said he had a “gift” for Credit Suisse, and held up walnut shells, saying a bag full of them would cost as much as one share of the troubled bank.
He added that he “opened the shells, ate the nut inside of it and then glued them back together. So they’re hollow nuts.”
Translations by Sophia Ankel