Credit Suisse to close some accounts
Fin24

Credit Suisse to close some accounts

2013-09-24 13:40

Zurich - Credit Suisse said Tuesday it plans to close some clients' accounts as it focuses on high-value customers in some countries and pulls out of others altogether.

"We've decided to focus on certain segments and markets and exit some countries that are too small," said a spokeswoman for the Swiss banking giant.

Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported that the accounts involved would be closed by the end of the year, affecting clients in nearly 50 countries.

The Credit Suisse spokeswoman said the bank would exit some countries entirely, including Congo, Angola and Turkmenistan. In others, such as Denmark and Israel, it will close small accounts to focus on the top segment of the market, she said.

Tages-Anzeiger said the bank considered the risk to its reputation in countries such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus to be too high, and elsewhere wanted to focus on "rich and super-rich clients" with balances of at least one million Swiss francs ($1.1m).

In Israel, where many clients have dual US citizenship, the bank also wanted to reduce the regulatory burden of complying with American tax law, the report said.

The bank had said in July it planned to exit smaller markets, as it announced second-quarter profits of 1.04 billion francs, a 32% increase from the year before.

At the time Credit Suisse said it stood to save 150m francs in the second half of the year by withdrawing from some markets.

Pressure has increased on banks in recent years to help identify accounts linked to organised crime, high-level corruption or other wrongdoing, causing the cost of complying with regulatory procedures to rise sharply.