Shares of Credit Suisse plunged to a fresh record low on Monday as jittery investors trained their attention on the Swiss bank.
The company’s stock was last down more than 8% in Zurich to about $3.68 per share. It’s dropped almost 60% so far this year.
The lender has been plagued by a series of scandals and regulatory failings in recent years that cost it billions and led to an overhaul of top management. But it’s facing renewed scrutiny following a memo to employees from CEO Ulrich Körner sent Friday that was shared with CNN Business.
Körner sought to reassure colleagues about the bank’s financial health before he unveils a restructuring plan at the end of this month.
“I know it’s not easy to remain focused amid the many stories you read in the media — in particular, given the many factually inaccurate statements being made,” wrote Körner. “That said, I trust that you are not confusing our day-to-day stock price performance with the strong capital base and liquidity position of the bank.”
Yet the memo appears to have fueled concerns about the bank instead of tamping them down. One measure of the bank’s credit risk over the next five years has shot up.
The bank has emphasized that it remains on solid ground. But if clients get anxious and start to pull their money, it can create a damaging feedback loop.
The Financial Times reports that senior executives spent the weekend speaking to large clients, counterparties and investors, assuring them that there’s nothing to worry about. Credit Suisse declined further comment.
Nervous traders are on guard for any pockets of weakness in the market. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index, which tracks market sentiment, is in “extreme fear” territory.