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Credit Suisse steps up cost cutting as revenue eludes CEO Thiam

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 14:26

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Credit Suisse Group AG stepped up cost cutting efforts under a plan by Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam to refocus the bank on wealth management, while reducing some profit goals.

[ZURICH] Credit Suisse Group AG stepped up cost cutting efforts under a plan by Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam to refocus the bank on wealth management, while reducing some profit goals.

The Zurich-based bank is targeting an operating cost base of less than 17 billion Swiss francs (S$23.9 billion) by 2018, down from an earlier goal of below 18 billion francs, according to a statement Wednesday on its website. It lowered profit targets for its international wealth management business and its Asian division.

"Given the unsupportive market conditions we are facing, the realisation of our profit objectives plan is now more geared to the delivery of cost reductions, over which we have greater control than revenue growth," the bank said in the statement.

"This also leaves us with potential upside, should market conditions improve."

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It's the second time Mr Thiam is adjusting his plan, first outlined in October last year, to reorganise the company along geographical lines, downsize the investment bank in favour of wealth management, and hold an initial public offering of the Swiss business.

Shares of Credit Suisse have lost 41 per cent in the period as investors questioned his ambitious profit goals for the new units. Mr Thiam in March stepped up job cuts for this year after unexpected losses at the global markets unit.

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