Credit Suisse CEO expects challenging third quarter

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Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam expects Q3 to be challenging

Speaking at an investment conference in London, Thiam said the equities business at Credit Suisse’s investment bank is likely to make a relatively weak contribution to overall results in the third quarter – as it had in the second quarter, when revenues from equities businesses declined 10% compared with the same period a year earlier.

The same trend of depressed client activity in the second quarter “has continued” into the current period, Thiam said. Credit Suisse is expected to report third-quarter results on November 3.

Thiam said the bank expects to report outflows at its Switzerland-based wealth management unit, as Credit Suisse culls its ties with some external asset managers in a bid to “only keep the desirable ones”.

“It’s risk reduction,” he said.

Credit Suisse has previously said it expects to incur about Sfr5 billion ($ 5.2 billion) in outflows this year as part of the so-called “regularisation” process of having clients come clean to local tax authorities about the undeclared assets held in Credit Suisse accounts. “I think it’s about 2 billion [francs], so far,” Thiam said.

Thiam said Credit Suisse expects to shed some 1,200 jobs by the end of this year – which come on top of 4,800 job cuts already made as a part of Thiam’s sweeping overhaul, which is intended to de-emphasise its investment banking operations while bolstering wealth management businesses in Asia and Switzerland.

He suggested that transaction levels among clients may actually have been lower in the third quarter than in the second quarter, when there had been a flurry of trading around the UK’s surprise vote to leave the European Union.

However, Thiam cited recent positives for the bank, including asset inflows for Credit Suisse’s business in Asia, where it has been bulking up on private bankers. He noted that Credit Suisse’s investment bankers have had roles in some of the largest transactions of the year, including China National Chemical Corp’s acquisition of Swiss pesticide firm Syngenta.

Write to John Letzing at john.letzing@wsj.com

This story was first published by The Wall Street Journal

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