Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized stockholder rights law firm, reminds investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Credit Suisse Group AG (“Credit Suisse” or the “Company”) (NYSE: CS) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Credit Suisse securities between March 19, 2021 and March 25, 2022, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”). Investors have until June 28, 2022 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
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Credit Suisse, together with its subsidiaries, provides various financial services in Switzerland, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. The Company offers private banking and wealth management solutions, including advisory, investment, financial planning, succession planning, and trust services, and financing and lending, and multi-shore platform solutions.
Credit Suisse has a history of business dealings with Russian oligarchs, or ultra-high net worth business leaders possessing significant political influence. For example, an article published by Financial Times on February 7, 2022, entitled “Credit Suisse securitizes yacht loans to oligarchs and tycoons”, cited a recent investor presentation for a synthetic securitization deal, in which Credit Suisse sold off $80 million worth of risk related to a $2 billion portfolio of loans backed by assets owned by certain of the bank’s ultra-high net worth clients (the “Securitization Deal”), which disclosed that, in 2017 and 2018, Credit Suisse experienced 12 defaults on yacht and aircraft loans, a third of which were related to U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs. Press reports at the time indicated that Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska, Arkady Rotenberg, and Boris Rotenberg had to terminate private jet leases with Credit Suisse in those years.
Beginning in or around October 2021, Russia commenced a major military build-up near the Russo-Ukrainian border, in apparent preparation for an invasion of Ukraine. Although the Russian government repeatedly denied it had plans to invade or attack Ukraine, the U.S. later released intelligence of Russian invasion plans, including satellite photographs showing Russian troops and equipment near the Russo-Ukrainian border.
In November 2021, as Russia’s military buildup on the Russo-Ukrainian border continued, the Company entered the Securitization Deal.
Just months later, on February 24, 2022, Russian military forces invaded Ukraine. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Western governments including, among others, the U.S., Canada, and the European Union, imposed significant sanctions on Russia. The sanctions included, inter alia, measures targeting Russia’s ultrawealthy oligarchs by denying them access to the global financial system and by, in some cases, authorizing the seizure of certain of their high-value assets located outside of Russia.
Barely a week after the commencement of the Russian invasion and the retaliatory sanctions imposed by Western nations, news outlets reported that Credit Suisse had requested non-participating investors who received information about the Company’s loan portfolio to destroy and permanently erase any confidential information that Credit Suisse provided to them regarding the Securitization Deal.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Credit Suisse had deficient disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; (ii) Credit Suisse’s practice of lending money to Russian oligarchs subject to U.S. and international sanctions created a significant risk of violating rules pertaining to those sanctions and future sanctions; (iii) the foregoing conduct subjected the Company to an increased risk of heightened regulatory scrutiny and/or enforcement actions; (iv) the Securitization Deal concerned loans that Credit Suisse made to Russian oligarchs previously sanctioned by the U.S.; (v) the purpose of the Securitization Deal was to offload the risks associated with these loans and mitigate the impact on Credit Suisse of sanctions likely to be implemented by Western nations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; (vi) Credit Suisse’s request that non-participating investors destroy documents related to the Securitization Deal was intended to conceal the Company’s noncompliance with U.S. and international sanctions in its lending practices; (vii) the foregoing, once revealed, was likely to subject the Company to enhanced regulatory scrutiny and significant reputational harm; and (viii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On March 28, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform sent Credit Suisse a letter asking the Company to turn over information and documents about a portfolio of loans backed by yachts and private jets owned by clients, potentially including sanctioned Russian individuals. In the letter, House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Stephen Lynch, chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, questioned Credit Suisse’s request that hedge funds and other non-participating investors “destroy documents” related to yachts and private jets owned by the bank’s clients. “Given the timing of this request and its subject matter,” the House Democrats wrote, “Credit Suisse’s action raises significant concerns that it may be concealing information” about whether participants in the deal may be “evading sanctions” imposed by the West after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On this news, Credit Suisse’s stock price fell $0.21 per share, or 2.58%, to close at $7.94 per share on March 28, 2022.
If you purchased or otherwise acquired Credit Suisse shares and suffered a loss, are a long-term stockholder, have information, would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Brandon Walker or Alexandra Raymond by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone at (212) 355-4648, or by filling out this contact form. There is no cost or obligation to you.
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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
Brandon Walker, Esq.
Alexandra B. Raymond, Esq.