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July 1, 2021

Credit Suisse weighs consolidation of private banking units

By Verdict Staff

Credit Suisse is reportedly mulling the consolidation of its private banking units to streamline its businesses in the aftermath of two back-to-back scandals.

The Swiss bank currently operates an international business, Swiss business, and a separate Asia-Pacific unit under its wealth management business.

Some of the senior executives of the group are of the opinion that combing these units into one group would offer benefits, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The move is likely to eliminate the bank’s current operation structure, which gives considerable power to regional chiefs, especially in Asia.

The unified business is expected to help the bank cut costs, streamline products, and improve potential merger prospects, the sources said.

The sources also divulged that bank could consider the appointment of a global wealth management chief to manage the unified business.

The bank and its board are currently working to come up with a new strategy by October this year.

Credit Suisse did not comment on the news.

Last week, Reuters reported that Credit Suisse may seek a merger with rival UBS to overhaul the business to deal with the fallout from the collapse of clients Archegos and Greensill.

Credit Suisse witnessed its share price shrink following Archegos scandal, which cost the bank more than $5bn loss.

The bank also suffered losses from the Greensill meltdown, in which it was associated with selling around $10bn worth of created securities through its asset management unit.

Renaming of China securities joint venture

Credit Suisse has renamed its China securities joint venture (JV) as Credit Suisse Securities (China) (CSS) as it continues to accelerate the build-out of its China franchise.

Established in 2008, the venture was previously known as Credit Suisse Founder Securities Limited (CSFS).

The bank acquired the majority ownership in the JV in June last year, following the completion of a capital injection.

The company currently holds 51% in the JV which offers a range of capital markets services to clients in the domestic China market, including securities sponsoring and underwriting, and financial advisory services.

Credit Suisse Greater China CEO Carsten Stoehr called the rebranding of the securities venture ‘an important milestone in the continued commitment to our China franchise’.

He said: “Our future expansion will focus on further broadening our presence and capabilities as we position Credit Suisse to become the leading international wealth manager in China with strong investment banking capabilities.”

In addition to securities JV, Credit Suisse also has an asset management JV, called Credit Suisse Asset Management.

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