SEC fines Credit Suisse $90m for manipulating new assets figures

US regulator found ex-Credit Suisse COO had pressured employees to misrepresent metrics.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Credit Suisse $90 million for manipulating certain metrics in order to meet performance targets.

Rolf Bögli, former chief operating officer at Credit Suisse, allegedly pressured employees to classify certain high net worth client assets as net new assets, despite staff concerns.

Net new assets are a metric valued by investors to measure a financial institution’s success in attracting new business.

Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said Credit Suisse had “conveyed to the investing community that it followed a structured process for recognising net new assets when, in fact, the process was reverse engineered to meet targets.”

Bögli has agreed to pay $80,000 in fines, although he neither admitted nor denied the claims.

The SEC’s Ceresney added: “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.”

The fine to the Swiss bank comes amid wider scrutiny over the sales culture of the banking industry, following the investigation into Wells Fargo ‘sham account’ scandal.