Swiss National Bank to face Credit Suisse and climate protests at fraught AGM

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Financial

The Swiss National Bank has come into the spotlight following its assistance in UBS’ takeover of Credit Suisse.Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty ImagesThe Swiss National Bank will hold its annual general meeting in Bern on Friday against a backdrop of protest over its action on climate change and its role in the emergency sale of Credit Suisse to Swiss rival UBS.The central bank played a key role in brokering the rescue of Credit Suisse over the course of a chaotic weekend in March, as a flight of deposits and plummeting share price took the 167-year-old institution to the brink of collapse.The deal remains mired in controversy and legal challenges, particularly over the lack of investor input and the unconventional decision to wipe out 15 billion Swiss francs ($16.8 billion) of Credit Suisse AT1 bonds.The demise of the country’s second-largest bank fomented widespread discontent and severely damaged Switzerland’s long-held reputation for financial stability. It also came against a febrile political backdrop, with federal elections coming up in October.While the SNB will no doubt face questions and grievances from shareholders about the Credit Suisse situation on Friday, the country’s network of climate activists will also be seeking to use the central bank’s unwanted spotlight to challenge its investment policies.Unlike many major central banks, the SNB operates publicly-traded company, with just over half of its roughly 25 million Swiss franc ($28.1 million) share capital held by public shareholders — including various Swiss cantons (states) and cantonal banks — while the remaining shares are held by private investors.A shareholder walks past a giant inflate balloom during a protest by climate activists ahead of the general meeting of shareholders of UBS bank in Basel, on April 5, 2023, following the takeover by UBS of Credit Suisse hastily arranged by the Swiss government on March 19 to prevent a financial meltdown. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)Fabrice Coffrini | Afp | Getty ImagesMore than 170 climate activists have now purchased a SNB share, according to the SNB Coalition, a dedicated pressure group spun out of Alliance Climatique Suisse — an umbrella organization representing around 140 Swiss environmental campaign groups.Around 50 of the activist shareholders will be in attendance on Friday, and activists plan to make around a dozen speeches on stage at the AGM, climate campaigner Jonas Kampus told CNBC on Wednesday. Protests will also be held outsi …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This