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Credit Suisse steps up $440 million legal dispute with SoftBank

·2 min read

(Reuters) -Credit Suisse has applied to the English High Court to initiate formal legal proceedings against Japan's SoftBank Group Corp in a $440 million dispute over Greensill-linked funds, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Switzerland's second-largest bank is trying to recover client funds that Greensill Capital, a defunct finance firm, had lent to Katerra, a SoftBank-backed U.S. construction group that filed for bankruptcy last year.

The move is part of the bank's attempt to salvage outstanding money from the collapse of about $10 billion in client funds linked to Greensill Capital, financier Lex Greensill's supply chain finance firm that imploded last year.

The bank alleges that SoftBank was aware of a Katerra restructuring in 2020 that effectively placed Credit Suisse's investor assets out of reach, according to court documents filed in the United States in 2021.

SoftBank, however, on Thursday dismissed the move to start legal action in England as a "desperate attempt to blame SoftBank for its own poor investment decisions".

"We strongly reject any misguided suggestion that any SoftBank entity ever intended to, or did in fact, harm the interests of Credit Suisse or its funds and we will vigorously defend any claim relating to this matter should a claim actually be brought," a SoftBank representative said in a statement.

Late last year, the bank filed a petition in the United States seeking information it said would support a lawsuit that it planned to file against SoftBank and other affiliates in England over the money it said was owed by Katerra.

The Swiss bank is seeking to establish what SoftBank executives, including chair and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, knew about Katerra's restructuring plans.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on Thursday.

The Financial Times first reported the move on Thursday.

(Reporting by Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru and Lincoln Feast, Sinead Cruise and Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Neil Fullick and Jane Merriman)