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Credit Suisse launches digital private banking push

[ZURICH] Credit Suisse is rolling out its new private banking app in Asia as it seeks to fend off competition from rivals offering cheaper, faster digital services for wealthy clients.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse and other private banks face competition from new digital wealth managers promising a private bank performance without the frills, and at a lower price.

Tech firms such as Facebook and Apple are also looking to expand into mobile payment systems.

"We are making significant investments in digital technology to capture this opportunity and deepen the relationship with our current and next generation of private banking client," Hans-Ulrich Meister head of private banking and wealth management at Credit Suisse said in a statement.

The Credit Suisse app includes an overview of clients'investment performance, tools for trading securities and foreign exchange and ways such as instant messaging to help clients communicate with their bankers.

"Just looking at the features, it's what you need to have nowadays," Bank Vontobel analyst Andreas Venditti said.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second biggest bank, said it was rolling out the app in Asia Pacific initially and has chosen Singapore as the first launch location, underlining the bank's focus on the world's fastest growing region for new wealth.

This was highlighted last week when the bank named Tidjane Thiam, who built up a strong Asian track record while head of Prudential, as its next chief executive.