Only a few Credit Suisse clients have actually closed their accounts after withdrawing some of their money from the bank, head of the Swiss branch of the major bank André Helfenstein told Sunday newspapers.
“We have in total lost only 1% of our asset base in our Swiss division,” he said in the columns of SonntagsZeitung and Matin Dimanche.
According to him, Credit Suisse is profitable in Switzerland, proof of which is that the bank made a pre-tax profit of 1.2 billion francs in the first nine months of the year. But there is no question, for André Helfenstein, of splitting the bank into two parts – one Swiss and the other international – or of selling the retail banking and wealth management activities.
Switzerland’s prosperity “linked to that of the Gulf countries”
He says he understands that with the Saudi National Bank taking a stake, some are questioning the “cultural fit”. “But we have to be careful with our supposed moral superiority,” he warns, because a large part of the economy is based on oil. “Our prosperity is therefore on the whole closely linked to these countries”, emphasizes André Helfenstein.
He also spoke about the 2000 positions that must be eliminated in Switzerland, ensuring that age would play no role. “We do not discriminate. When it comes to cutting jobs, only the type of job plays a role,” he said, adding that the jobs that will be cut in Switzerland almost only concern not transactions with customers.
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Branches closed in Geneva and in the canton of Vaud
Of the fourteen branch closures planned in Switzerland, two are planned in French-speaking Switzerland, one in the canton of Vaud and the other in Geneva, he further specified.
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According to the employees, the persons concerned should receive their salary for seven to twelve months. Early retirement will be possible from the age of 58.
Finally, he said that he had not observed any demotivation among the employees, but “rather a certain degree of fatigue and sometimes also frustration”, because the bank had a very difficult year, he admits.