Bank Leu AG (pronounced "Loy," as in toy) was a Swiss private bank that existed from 1755 to 2007. Headquartered in Zurich, it was a subsidiary of Credit Suisse from 1990. In 2007, it was merged with that company's other private banking units as Clariden Leu. At the time, it was the oldest bank in Switzerland.
The bank was founded in 1758 as Leu et Compagnie, named after its founder, Johann Jacob Leu, who later became mayor of Zurich. Originally a state-owned bank, it was privatized in 1798 after Napoleon conquered Switzerland; the bank's officials did not want its assets to be taken over by Napoleon's new client state, the Helvetic Republic. In 1854, it incorporated as Leu & Co. after more than a century as a limited partnership. It became a public limited company (German: Aktiengesellschaft) in 1969.
Despite having many distinguished customers over the years (at one point, it was Maria Theresa's banker), two major scandals in the 1980s eventually cost the bank its independence.
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Famous quotes containing the word bank:
“That strain again, it had a dying fall;
O, it came oer my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more,
Tis not so sweet now as it was before.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)