Not so long ago, Swiss bank Credit Suisse was one of the 20 most valuable European banks. As of the morning of March 20, the embattled lender has sunk as low as rank 146 on the list of the global banks with the biggest market capitalizations, having lost almost 19 percent of its market cap since March 11 alone and being thrown a lifeline in the form of a state-backed takeover by fellow Swiss lender UBS. The deal which was finalized Sunday night has a lower price tag, however, than the bank's stock market value at the time or even at market close Monday, when it had fallen even lower, but not as low as the $3.2 billion paid in the takeover. This led some observers to conclude the bank had been sold for a very cheap price even considering its situation.
Credit Suisse was hit especially hard by the global ripple effects of two U.S. bank failures, of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, as it found itself in a vulnerable position to begin with, following scandals, balance sheet losses and fleeing customers during the last couple of years. Additionally, what brought the two U.S. banks to their knees in the first place – customers struggling in the stagflation economy paired with quickly rising central bank rates that created additional costs – has affected the whole banking sector, leading to losses even ahead of the March 12 U.S. bailout across the industry.
Now Credit Suisse itself is the latest ripple in what has become a crisis for banking globally. As seen in data by Companymarketcap.com, banks around the world have lost sizable chunks of their market caps in the days since the bailouts in the U.S. were announced. Among the world’s 100 biggest banks, only a handful have not registered such losses since March 11. The biggest group among them are banks from China, as exemplified by ICBC - currently the third biggest bank in the world with a market cap that rose by more than 4 percent since March 11 and the morning of March 20. The picture is much different in Japan, where losses among the three largest banks in the country, including Mitsubishi UFJ, were between 7.5 percent and 10.5 percent, while the fourth biggest bank went through ups and downs. Other countries where single banks were still growing were Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, but for all other banks in the top 100 ranking – from Europe, the U.S, Australia, Canada and several more Asian countries – losses were mounting.