Japan’s SoftBank has accused Credit Suisse of using court proceedings as a means of “manufacturing claims” against the group, as the Swiss lender continues to pursue losses arising from the failure of Greensill. 

The dispute relates to a receivables financing arrangement provided by Greensill to US construction company Katerra. Katerra ran into financial difficulties in 2020, and Greensill-arranged notes tied to its receivables, worth around US$440mn, defaulted early last year. 

SoftBank responded by injecting US$440mn in funding to Greensill, which would then forgive Katerra’s debts in exchange for an equity stake. Greensill would then be in a position to repay funds due to Credit Suisse following the default, while SoftBank would be repaid out of funds recovered from Katerra. 

The Financial Times revealed in March last year that Credit Suisse did not receive the funds it was due as part of that restructuring.  

The lender was reportedly left with exposure of around US$2.3bn following Greensill’s insolvency, while SoftBank invested more than US$1.1bn in the UK-headquartered supply chain finance company. 

In a motion filed in a US court in December, Credit Suisse argued that it now believes SoftBank “orchestrated a financial restructuring” of Katerra. It argues the agreement was, in effect, an undervalued transaction designed to strip assets from Greensill and place them out of reach of other creditors. 

The bank was granted a US court order in early January this year allowing discovery of related documentation from SoftBank, including Katerra board minutes, that could support its argument. 

However, SoftBank last week filed a motion to vacate that order, arguing that Credit Suisse’s claims are “categorically false”, and “a transparent effort to deflect responsibility for one of the multiple embarrassing losses it sustained in 2021”. 

SoftBank says the transaction was intended only “to put Greensill in funds to enable it to pay back [Credit Suisse]”. 

“In reality, Credit Suisse and SoftBank – which was a significant investor in Greensill – were both harmed by Greensill’s corporate mismanagement,” its motion adds. 

The filing says it now believes that part of the US$440mn was transferred to Germany-based Greensill Bank, which at the time was under investigation by banking regulator BaFin, and that some was used to provide additional funding to the wider corporate group. 

According to SoftBank, the true motivation for Credit Suisse’s claim is “a baseless fishing expedition aimed at manufacturing claims” against the group. It argues the Swiss bank is seeking to use any documents accessed to help identify additional claims against SoftBank. 

The filing marks the latest in a souring of relations between SoftBank and Credit Suisse, with Bloomberg reporting that the two companies ceased doing business with each other last year. 

The publication cites concerns among SoftBank insiders over multiple controversies faced by Credit Suisse, while the Swiss lender reportedly believes there may be conflicts of interest linked to the Greensill fallout. 

A SoftBank investment fund memo reportedly says: “We continue to have serious questions about the motives of Credit Suisse and the future of this institution.” 

Credit Suisse and Greensill declined to comment when contacted by GTR.