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Credit Suisse May Let Fund Clients Take Hit on Greensill Losses

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Patrick Winters and Marion Halftermeyer
·2 min read
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(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG is leaning toward letting clients foot the bill for eventual losses in funds that the bank ran with former billionaire Lex Greensill’s company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The bank considers that the risks around Greensill were known and the funds were only marketed to investors able to assess such risks, the person said, declining to be identified discussing private matters. The Zurich-based lender didn’t take any substantial loss due to Greensill in the first quarter.

The bank’s stance runs counter to reports last month suggesting executives were considering compensating investors hit by the collapse of the funds. Credit Suisse marketed its popular supply-chain finance funds as among the safest investments it offered, because the loans they held were backed by invoices usually paid in a matter of weeks.

But as the funds grew into a $10 billion strategy, they strayed from that pitch and much of the money was lent through Greensill Capital against expected future invoices, for sales that were merely predicted. Now, investors in the frozen funds are left facing the potential for steep losses as the assets are liquidated.

A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment on the funds.

The bank may be able to limit the fund losses to around $1.5 billion, assuming insurance pays out and it is able to recover other assets in court, another person said.

The lender has said previously that it plans to make a further cash payment to investors in the funds by early to mid-April and has returned about $3.1 billion to date.

Read More: Credit Suisse Takes $4.7 Billion Archegos Hit, Cuts Dividend (3)

On Tuesday, Credit Suisse said it is shaking up its executive ranks after it was hit hard by the collapse of Archegos Capital Management, just weeks after the Greensill scandal. The bank will take a 4.4 billion franc ($4.7 billion) write-down tied to the implosion of Archegos and replace more than half a dozen executives, including the chief risk & compliance officer and the head of the investment bank.

The bank said it may make a further announcement on its recovery of assets in the Greensill funds in the next week.

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