Credit Suisse May Eliminate 500 Switzerland Jobs in Wider Revamp

Credit Suisse Group AG may cut as many as 500 jobs in Switzerland as it cuts branches and absorbs a wholly-owned subsidiary as part of a wider revamp unveiled last month.

Andre Helfenstein, head of the lender’s Swiss Universal Bank, made the estimate on a conference call after the company said it will integrate the Neue Aargauer Bank AG unit under the Credit Suisse brand as part of a plan to save about 100 million francs ($109 million) annually starting in 2022.

Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein announced his first major revamp of the Swiss lender at the end of July, simplifying the bank’s complicated structure. The initiative includes a new cost savings program, and Credit Suisse will merge its advisory and its trading business into a single division led by global markets head Brian Chin.

The reductions announced Tuesday are part of a estimated 400 million francs in savings expected from the wider revamp. A substantial portion of that will be reinvested into the Swiss business, especially client relations and digitization, the bank said.

As part of the wider re-organization in Switzerland, the company promoted Anke Bridge Haux to lead a new digital banking business area in the Swiss Universal Bank, while Daniel Hunziker, head of strategy at Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, was tapped to lead the institutional clients operation.

Credit Suisse last month said it would accelerate digital efforts at the Swiss unit and reduce the cost-to-income ratio, a key measure of profitability. The job cuts will primarily come from supporting functions and the reduction of bank branches, Helfenstein said on the call.

Across Switzerland, the bank is planning to operate with 109 locations compared to 146 at present by the end of 2020. That includes cutting branches at 171-year-old Neue Aargauer Bank, which has 530 employees and 19 billion francs of assets under management.

Clients of Neue Aargauer Bank will automatically be transfered to Credit Suisse following the completion of the merger and they do not need to take any action at this time, the bank said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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