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Credit Suisse CEO: Won't Shrink Investment Bank As Much As UBS

Date : 11/16/2012 @ 6:47PM
Source : Dow Jones News
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Credit Suisse CEO: Won't Shrink Investment Bank As Much As UBS

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By Neil MacLucas

ZURICH--Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) has no intention to launch as drastic an overhaul of its investment banking activities as its bigger Swiss rival UBS AG (UBS), the bank's chief executive said Friday.

"The integrated bank model still meets the needs of many clients, but investment bank activities must become more capital-efficient and client-focused," Brady Dougan said at a banking conference in Zurich.

Beyond investment banking, both Swiss banks also have sizeable wealth management businesses.

In a radical response to a toughening regulatory environment, UBS said last month that it will wind down much of its fixed income businesses - a particularly capital absorbing type of investment banking - and axe 10,000 jobs.

Credit Suisse started shedding risky assets earlier than UBS, but didn't shrink its investment bank as drastically as its local rival.

Banks have been bolstering their capital bases and shedding risky assets ahead of more stringent global banking regulation, known as Basel III. The Swiss banks have gone farther than its global competitors because their local regulator has already implemented its own tougher rules in light of the big role banks play for the Swiss economy.

The rules won't come into force until 2019, but the country's central bank has made it clear that it wants the country's largest banks--Credit Suisse and UBS--to shore up their capital faster to be in a position to withstand a major economic shock, which may result if the euro-zone crisis worsened significantly.

Write to Neil MacLucas at neil.maclucas@dowjones.com

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