By Lananh Nguyen, Tatiana Bautzer and Saeed Azhar
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Large U.S. banks have managed their exposure to Credit Suisse in recent months and view risks from the lender as contained so far, according to three industry sources on Wednesday who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The industry sources spoke before Swiss financial regulator FINMA and the nation’s central bank said on Wednesday that the Swiss National Bank would provide Credit Suisse liquidity “if necessary”, a first for a global bank since the financial crisis. Credit Suisse said in a statement that it welcomed the news.
Bank stocks have been on a roller-coaster ride this week following the collapse of three U.S. lenders including Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the second and third largest bank failures in U.S. history, respectively. Bank stocks tumbled on Monday after assurances from U.S. President Joe Biden before jumping on Tuesday on hopes the worst of the market rout was over.
Credit Suisse shares plunged by as much as 30.8% earlier on Wednesday, leading a 7% drop in the European banking index. The U.S. Treasury said it is monitoring the situation at Credit Suisse and is in touch with global counterparts about it.
A Credit Suisse spokesperson declined to comment.
Bankers were more concerned about contagion or unexpected effects of the Swiss lender’s troubles that are not yet understood, one source said.
A top U.S. bank is still dealing with Credit Suisse as a counterparty, but is carefully managing its exposure, which is small, according to a source.
One asset manager in New York was assessing its trading counterparty risk with Credit Suisse, according to a source familiar with the situation.
“People are all examining their books, what open positions we have with Credit Suisse,” the source said.
The European Central Bank (ECB) had contacted banks on its watch to quiz them about their exposures to Credit Suisse, two supervisory sources told Reuters.
CEO, Ulrich Korner, told Channel News Asia on Wednesday: “We are a strong bank. We are a global bank, under Swiss regulation. We fulfill and basically overshoot all regulatory requirements. Our capital, our liquidity basis is very strong.”
(This story has been refiled to change headline from “is manageable” to “as manageable”)
(Reporting by Lananh Nguyen, Tatiana Bautzer and Saeed Azhar in New York; additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Megan Davies, Leslie Adler and Josie Kao)