Credit Suisse in talks with underwriters as it weighs capital options

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) has held talks with a number of banks about underwriting a potential capital increase in case it needs to shore up its balance sheet, Bloomberg Law reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Swiss bank would prefer to avoid selling new shares at current depressed levels, but is making preparations should it be necessary, according to the report.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse’s Chairman Axel Lehmann pledged on Friday to reform the bank after a “horrible” 2021 in which it lost billions of dollars.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank is trying to recover from a series of scandals, including losing more than $5 billion from the collapse of investment firm Archegos last year, when it also had to suspend client funds linked to defunct financier Greensill Capital.

Credit Suisse was sounding out investors for fresh cash, approaching them for the fourth time in around seven years as it attempts a radical overhaul of its investment bank.

Some analysts have said that the bank could be left with a capital shortfall of as much as 9 billion Swiss francs ($8.96 billion) in the coming years.

Credit Suisse is scheduled to release details of a much anticipated strategic review alongside third-quarter results on Oct. 27.

($1 = 1.0047 Swiss francs)