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Governance of crisis management
The Group has a crisis management framework and robust governance processes in place to enable the effective management of crises. The crisis management framework includes the implementation of global and regional Crisis Assessment Teams (CAT) and Crisis Management Teams (CMT) consisting of representatives from senior management and specialist functions from across the firm. The Global CAT assesses the impact of a specific crisis event to the firm on a global level and provides recommendations for final decisions to the Global CMT, whose members include all members of the Executive Board. In the case of a specific crisis event, firm-wide business continuity management response measures are triggered and overseen by the Executive Board. At the Board level, oversight of business continuity management is within the responsibility of the Risk Committee. In any given crisis event, the Board may delegate certain responsibilities to a sub-committee of its members that is authorized to take actions that exceed the mandate of the Executive Board, in particular when decisions are needed in too short a time frame to convene the full Board. Such a crisis event could include, for example, a sovereign crisis, large single name default, cyber or other operational incident and global macroeconomic or market event or public health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the crisis management process is invoked, multiple response measures are triggered, including Group crisis specific risk reporting, if necessary, and other potential steps, such as notification of regulators.
In February 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in countries and regions in which the Group operates, the Executive Board invoked our crisis management process, which remains in place as of the date of this report, given that the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet subsided and that renewed lockdowns and other restrictions have occurred across different countries in the latter part of 2020 and early 2021. Invoking the crisis management process meant that various response measures were put in place, including travel restrictions, a quarantine protocol, guidelines for client meetings, employee gatherings and working from home, and certain changes to the daily operations of critical processes, in order to ensure continuity of our business operations and to protect the health and safety of our employees. The crisis management process and related measures were continuously monitored and adapted throughout 2020 and early 2021, in light of changing circumstances, with daily Executive Board calls held following the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first part of 2020. Specific crisis reporting was also developed, with regular updates provided to regulators and the Board. The Board has remained actively involved in the ongoing monitoring of the Group’s response to market developments and operational challenges, including business continuity management and the effectiveness of the crisis mitigation measures put in place, and has engaged in regular dialogue with the Executive Board regarding these matters. In March 2020, the Board approved to establish the tactical crisis committee as a sub-committee of the Board, consisting of the Chairman and the Chairs of the Audit Committee and Risk Committee, for the purposes of enabling rapid decision-making on time-sensitive matters regarding risk, capital and liquidity management within the Board’s authority, given the volatile market environment in particular during the first half of 2020. As markets stabilized in the second half of 2020, the Board decided that the tactical crisis committee was no longer needed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tactical crisis committee was reactivated in March 2021 with the same members plus the Chair of the Conduct and Financial Crime Control Committee for the purposes of exercising close oversight and ensuring timely decision-making with respect to the resolution of the issues in connection with the Credit Suisse Asset Management managed supply chain finance funds.