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March 1, 2022

Credit Suisse Swiss arm to absorb Private Banking Switzerland

Credit Suisse is set to bring Private Banking Switzerland under its Swiss business from next month rather than a part of the newly set up wealth management unit, reported Reuters.

The move is said to be one of the first changes in line with a new strategy announced by the Swiss banking group following multibillion-dollar scandals.

Credit Suisse’s Swiss Bank CEO Andre Helfenstein said in memo seen by the new agency: “We have carefully weighed the pros and cons of different models and have come to the conclusion that serving our private banking clients in the affluent and high-net-worth segments in the Swiss Bank is the best strategy to leverage our strengths and to achieve our strategic goals.

“As a result, the Private Banking Switzerland Division will become part of the Swiss Bank.”

The memo was confirmed by Credit Suisse.

According to the memo, Credit Suisse Private Banking Switzerland head Serge Fehr will report directly to Helfenstein.

Credit Suisse’s new strategy was presented by former chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio in a bid to turn around the bank after it was hit by Archegos and Greensill explosions.

Horta-Osorio stepped down from his position as Credit Suisse chairman last month following an internal investigation into his personal conduct including violations of Covid-19 quarantine rules.

He was replaced by Axel Lehmann as the new chairman.

The Swiss bank registered an attributable net loss of $2.2bn (CHF2bn) in Q4 2021.

Factors driving the annual loss included CHF1.1bn in litigation costs as well as a CHF1.62bn goodwill impairment related to a 2000 takeover of a US investment bank.

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