Swiss regulators said Credit Suisse can access funds from the central bank if needed, racing to calm fears around the lender after it led a rout in European bank shares today.

In a joint statement, the Swiss financial regulator FINMA and the nation's central bank said that Credit Suisse "meets the capital and liquidity requirements imposed on systemically important banks".

They said they will offer Credit Suisse liquidity or financial support "if necessary".

The troubled Swiss lender saw trading in its shares suspended today when they plummeted by 30%.

This followed news that its main shareholder, the Saudi National Bank, which holds 9.88%, was not prepared to offer it any additional capital.

"We cannot because we would go above 10%. It's a regulatory issue," SNB chairman Ammar Al Khudairy told Reuters.

Earlier this week, the bank released a statement that said its auditor had identified "material weaknesses" in its financial controls, which had delayed the publication of its annual report.

The SNB and FINMA said this evening that "the problems of certain banks in the USA do not pose a direct risk of contagion for the Swiss financial markets".

It said both institutions are "following developments very closely".

The bank's stock was pummelled earlier in the week in the market fallout from the collapse of US tech lender Silicon Valley Bank.

CEO Ulrich Koerner moved to calm nerves, saying Credit Suisse's liquidity base remained strong and was well above all regulatory requirements.

Mr Koerner had said earlier in the week Credit Suisse's liquidity coverage ratio averaged 150% in the first quarter of this year.

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Credit Suisse: Scandals and market panic

Exane analysts said they saw a bailout by the SNB and the regulator, possibly with one or more other banks, as the "most likely scenario" facing Credit Suisse.

The analysts also said Saudi National Bank could do a U-turn.

Saudi National Bank increased its stake in Credit Suisse last year and committed to investing up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion).

Credit Suisse's plunging stock price has reignited jitters among investors about the resilience of the global banking system after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

"The sell-off in the banks now is broad-based which suggests to me that there has to be some kind of game-changing decisive action to reverse and stabilise the situation," the Exane analysts said in their note.

Ralph Hamers, CEO of Swiss rival UBS, speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference today, said UBS had benefited from recent market turmoil and seen money inflows.

"In the last couple of days as you might expect we've seen inflows," Mr Hamers said. "It is clearly a flight to safety from that perspective, but I think three days don't make a trend."

Credit Suisse yesterday published its annual report for 2022, which said the bank had identified "material weaknesses" in controls over financial reporting and not yet stemmed customer outflows.

Switzerland's second-biggest bank is seeking to recover from a string of scandals that have undermined the confidence of investors and clients. Customer outflows in the fourth quarter rose to more than 110 billion Swiss francs ($120 billion).

The shares fell below 2 Swiss francs for the first time in Zurich as they headed for a seventh daily decline in a row.

The cost of insuring the company's bonds against default shot up.

Five-year credit default swaps on Credit Suisse debt widened to 574 basis points from 549 bps at last close, based on data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, marking a new record high.