Zug, 22.03.2023

I realised that I would sleep better if I changed banks

After the historic Sunday, there was a lot going on in the branches of Credit Suisse on Monday: at times, up to 40 people were waiting in front of the counters of the bank on the Schwanenplatz in Lucerne. Customers were also withdrawing their money in Zug, too,

On day one after the Credit Suisse debacle, the mood is tense - including at the CS branches in Zug and Lucerne. There was a large queue in Lucerne on Monday morning, which briefly stretched from the foyer to outside the main entrance.

A retired gentleman explained that only a maximum of CHF 4,000 could be withdrawn from the CS ATM today. His plan: "I'll get all the money I can, and come back tomorrow for sure. He will also divert his pension fund from Credit Suisse to the Lucerne Cantonal Bank. For the man stresses that his trust in the big Swiss banks, including UBS, is gone.

"I trust the small banks more"

The Credit Suisse branch in the city of Zug              Photo: Nora Baumgartner
The prestigious Credit Suisse branch on the Schwanenplatz in Lucerne the day after the merger with UBS was announced        
Photo: Boris Bürgisser

"At least there’s now certainty"
The city of Zug also has a CS branch in a prominent location, on the Bahnhofstrasse. A CS employee living in the canton of Zug reports that the mood in the office on Monday was "rather relaxed". This is in contrast to the end of last week, when many rumours were doing the rounds, but no one knew anything definite. "Now at least there is certainty that things will continue," she says.

The public traffic to the Credit Suisse branch on Bahnhofstrasse in Zug is manageable over lunchtime. But most of the people who walk by under the arcades towards the city centre were looking in curiously. Many people who wanted to pick up cash went inside the bank - almost as if no one should notice that they, too, were among those who are renouncing their allegiance to the bank.

Apparently some cancellations in the Zug CS branch
A rather elderly gentleman said: "I was only changing Swiss francs into euros." A mother walked into the entrance of the Zug CS branch with her young daughter in a trailer. She has had her account with CS ever since she moved to Switzerland from a neighbouring country about 15 years ago. She now wants to close it. She’s been unsure for months whether it would not be better for her to look for another bank. "After the developments over the weekend, I realised that I would sleep better if I changed banks," she says now. At the CS counter, however, she says she was told not to worry.

"The employees have already handled a lot of cancellations by lunchtime, as I was told during the consultation," she continues. It takes about two to three working days for the account to be closed, she said. The woman has already opened a new account at a bank in Zug.

Another middle-aged woman leaves the Zug CS branch much more relaxed and smiling. "I was only at the counter to withdraw money. I'm not worried about the current situation and I didn't try to raid or close my account," she explains.