Fitch Ratings cut Credit Suisse Group’s long-term default rating by one notch to “BBB” with a negative outlook, marking a further downgrade for the beleaguered Swiss bank.
Moody’s downgraded its rating and S&P took a tougher view of the bank’s prospects this week as Credit Suisse tries to stem losses and regain footing under a new CEO.
Fitch cited Credit Suisse’s new strategic review and a large second-quarter loss, which it said highlights challenges in stabilizing the bank’s performance and generating adequate profitability from its wealth management franchise.
The strategic review could result in “significant restructuring spending at a time when the bank’s weak results limit internal capital generation,” he said late on Thursday.
Fitch’s negative outlook reflects his view that a further restructuring plan would give rise to significant execution risk, especially if it requires material costs given the Zurich-based bank’s weak earnings generation.
“Failure to stabilize the business model, improve operating profitability or meet the commitment to maintain a Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of at least 13% would be negative for the ratings,” he added.
Credit Suisse has named its chief asset manager, Ulrich Körner, as its new chief executive, tasking him with downsizing investment banking and cutting more than $1 billion in costs.
The move comes after Credit Suisse suffered multibillion-dollar losses last year, including a $5.5 billion loss from the default of US family office Archegos Capital Management and the hole caused by the collapse of UK financial firm Greensill.
The bank says it is well capitalized and will come out of the restructuring stronger.
Shares of Credit Suisse, down more than 40% this year, were little changed in pre-market activity.
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