Shareholders at Credit Suisse have rejected the proposal for a special audit to clearly determine the position of the bank with regard to the Greensill case and the so-called Suisse Secrets put forward by Ethos Foundation and seven pension funds at its annual general meeting (AGM) last Friday.
Shareholders rejected the company’s proposal to discharge legal liabilities for directors and executives for the 2020 financial year by 59.95% of the votes. They also voted to discharge legal liability for the 2021 financial year, but not for 2020.
Shareholders also voted against a separate proposal tabled by Ethos Foundation – which represents Credit Suisse shareholders owning about 5% of the company’s stock – and ShareAction on behalf of 11 institutional investors on the bank’s climate strategy, disclosures and reporting on the oil, gas and coal.
The Credit Suisse board had already recommended shareholders not to give approval to the proposals on the AGM agenda.
With regard to the climate resolution it said it had already decided to include disclosures in its sustainability report for 2022, complying to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and to submit them for a consultative vote to shareholders at next year’s AGM.
The board did not agree with the request to amend an Articles of Association of the bank to include further disclosures.
Credit Suisse cited instead “the ongoing recovery process” for the Supply Chain Finance Funds (SCFFs) with assets worth $10bn linked to Greensill Capital as a reason to vote against a special audit.
The pension funds requesting the lender to shed a light on the Greensill supply chain funds and the “Suisse Secrets” leaks included Publica, Bernische Pensionskasse, the Pensionskasse of the city of Zurich PKZH, Pensionskasse Post, Inter-Company Professional Provident Fund (CIEPP), Bernische Lehrerversichergungskasse and Cap Providence.
The bank replied to a number of questions on Greensill and the Suisse Secrets leaks alleging it had criminals, autocrats and war criminals as clients, but Ethos considered them insufficient without a third-party checking the answers.