Credit Suisse signals its determination to expand its private banking operations, despite the troubles that have beset the wider industry and the blows to Switzerland’s role as a tax haven. Many private banking institutions – notably CS’s Swiss rival UBS – have suffered from the recent crackdown on tax evasion and the uncertainty about which banks will weather the credit crisis. Credit Suisse clearly sees an opportunity, and wants to raise the number of CS private bankers from about 3,400 today to 4,000 by 2012. It says that Swiss institutions can’t rely on Switzerland’s tax advantages any more and have to have to compete through the service they offer and through expansion into new markets. CS provided evidence it is benefiting from the travails of some of its rivals – it said that senior private bankers made up three quarters of its hires in the first half of 2009, compared with less than half in 2008. Senior bankers tend to be better at generating business, reflected in the much higher levels of net new funds transferred to the bank per advisor in the six months after hiring.
Read Katharina Bart’s article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125360550023830229.html