Swiss banking was long regarded as the Rolls Royce of finance – a byword for discretion, exceptional service and above all, safety.
But as Credit Suisse teeters on the brink, that reputation is so tarnished as to appear irrecoverable.
Instead, years of dysfunction and mistakes mean parts of the industry are becoming regarded as the biggest threat to financial stability in Europe since the 2008 crisis.
Credit Suisse could now be taken over by Swiss rival UBS in a deal brokered by the country’s regulators.
“When you have one or two issues, you might say it’s bad luck,” says Guy Ellison, an analyst at wealth manager Investec.
“But once you see a multitude of these reputational hits emerge, you have to suspect that it’s something wrong within the structure, the governance within Credit Suisse, and the decisions that have been made about what risks it’s been prepared to take.”
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