Credit Suisse: Tidjane Thiam's Grand Plan Unveiled

Speaking in Zurich earlier today the Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam finally got the opportunity to share his long anticipated and speculated upon strategy.

He began by reflecting on the banks third quarter results which he agreed were "not very good" however he was upbeat about the business derived from Asia. Mentioning rivals UBS only once he noted that they were up around 25 percent while his own bank was down around 9 percent, "we need to change that," he said.

Thiam went on to say that for him and the board, cost savings going forward were crucial to the health and longevity of the bank. He stated that in Switzerland in the region of 1600 jobs would be going over a three year period. Much of this would come from natural evolution, he said there was not going to be a 'bloodbath'. For Credit Suisse staff in London however the outlook might be a bit more gloomy. Thiam stated that London is an expensive cost centre and that as many as 1800 jobs could be relocated to more affordable locations such as Poland. It was unlikely he said that front office roles would be affected.

For Asia the news is brighter Thiam said he expected more than 100 new roles in Risk Management in Asia in the coming years and that private banking would be recruiting heavily. When asked about Asian acquisition he was non committal but did say that the bank was keen to make acquisitions in its home country of Switzerland where he believes many small banks are struggling to survive. He also mentioned that the bank was reviewing its booking centre alignment given the creeping regulatory environment.

Near the end of his presentation when pushed by a local Swiss journalist about his strategic plan not being a so called big plan he retorted by saying, "Big plans were not part of my job description but success is, and this strategy will bring success."



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