Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a $90m penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle claims that it misrepresented how it determined a key performance metric of its wealth management business.
As part of the settlement, the Swiss private banking giant admitted wrongdoing.
The SEC investigation found that Credit Suisse veered from its publicly disclosed methodology for determining net new assets (NNA), a metric valued by investors in financial institutions to measure success in attracting new business.
Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said: “Credit Suisse conveyed to the investing community that it followed a structured process for recognizing net new assets when, in fact, the process was reverse-engineered to meet targets. Credit Suisse’s failure to disclose this results-driven approach deprived investors of the opportunity to fairly judge the firm’s success in attracting new money.”
Rolf Bogli, who served as chief operating officer of the firm’s private banking division, pressured employees to classify certain high net worth and ultra-high net worth client assets as NNA despite concerns raised by employees most knowledgeable about a particular client’s intent, the SEC said.
Bogli, who neither admitted nor denied the regulator’s findings, agreed to pay an $80,000 fine.