Credit Suisse CEO says outflows have reduced ‘very significantly’ as overhaul progresses

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, is seen next to the Swiss flag here in downtown Geneva.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

Credit Suisse New CEO Ulrich Koerner told CNBC on Wednesday that client outflows are falling sharply, as the troubled Swiss lender moves forward with its major strategic overhaul.

The bank in November projected a fourth-quarter loss of $1.6 billion after announcing measures to address persistent underperformance in its investment bank and a series of risk and compliance failures. It also disclosed at the time that it continued to experience significant net asset outflows.

“As we said, outflows have come down very significantly, and we are now seeing money coming back into different parts of the firm,” Koerner said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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As part of the overhaul, Credit Suisse shareholders in November gave the green light to a $4.2 billion capital raise, including a new private share offering in which Saudi National Bank will become the largest interest holder with a 9.9% stake.

Koerner said the transition to a “new Credit Suisse” is going well.

“We’ve laid out a very clear plan, and we’ve talked to all the different stakeholder groups over the last three months, as you would expect,” he said.

“I think the plan, the strategy resonates a lot. We’re in full implementation, so I think we’re making really good progress.”

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Credit Suisse has also reached out to thousands of customers in Switzerland and around the world for feedback, Koerner said.

“It has created a very positive momentum, and I think this is the momentum that will travel with us through 2023,” he added.

‘Zero Worries’ on Klein Business Acquisitions

Koerner confirmed that the reported departure of 10% of Credit Suisse’s investment bankers in Europe was part of a previously announced plan to cut 2,700 jobs by 2023 and a total of 9,000 by 2025.

As part of the overhaul, Credit Suisse will spin off and rebrand its US investment banking division as CS First Boston. The new unit will be headed by former Credit Suisse board member Michael Klein. Credit Suisse is on the verge of buying Klein’s boutique investment advisory firm.

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Koerner insisted he had “zero concerns” about a conflict of interest, insisting the bank could handle the situation “in a very professional manner”.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Michael, because Michael’s a great banker, he’s a great dealmaker, and he’s very entrepreneurial, and that’s why I want to go on tour with him.”

US investor Harris Associates has more than halved its stake in Credit Suisse since June 2022. Koerner said he could not determine the firm’s timing, but “we will certainly discuss.”


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