Credit Suisse to Use Apple Business Chat for Rich Asian Clients

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG said it’s making it easier for wealthy clients in Singapore and Hong Kong to communicate with its private bankers by integrating Apple Business Chat into its digital platform.

The Zurich-based bank’s clients will be able to use the Apple Inc. service to obtain information on their account balances and portfolios, or on the status of their transactions, the lender said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Approximately 95 percent of our clients booked in Asia who access our digital private banking platform are users of iPhones or iPads, so they can now communicate with us anytime anywhere through their preferred chat channel,” Francois Monnet, head of private banking for North Asia, said in the statement.

Banks around the world have been grappling with the issue of communicating with clients using mobile messaging platforms because they can allow employees to circumvent officially monitored phone and email systems. A former Jefferies Group LLC banker was fined in the U.K. last year for sharing confidential information on WhatsApp.

Credit Suisse bankers will access the client messages over the firm’s in-house chat platform “with the conversations taking place in a secure and compliant environment,” the release said. Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd. unveiled a service last month that allows wealthy clients in Asia to interact with their relationship managers via WhatsApp and WeChat.

In the next phase of the program, Credit Suisse will add more booking centers and new functions such as allowing clients to place trade orders, submit forms and update their personal details.

WhatsApp and WeChat will also be added to the internal platform, Credit Suisse spokeswoman Edna Lam said in response to Bloomberg queries. WeChat is owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., and WhatsApp by Facebook Inc.

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