- POSTED: 24 Sep 2013 19:19
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Credit Suisse said on Tuesday it plans to close some clients' accounts as it focuses on high-value customers in some countries and pulls out of others altogether.
ZURICH: Credit Suisse said on Tuesday it plans to close some accounts as it focuses on high-value customers from certain countries and stops accepting clients from 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 from nearly 50 countries.
The Credit Suisse spokeswoman said the bank would stop accepting clients from some countries entirely, including Congo, Angola and Turkmenistan. For clients from other countries, 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 to be too high for clients from countries such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus, and for some other nations it wanted to focus on "rich and super-rich clients" with balances of at least one million Swiss francs (800,000 euros, US$1.1 million).
For 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 stop accepting clients from smaller markets, as it announced second-quarter profits of 1.04 billion francs, a 32-per-cent increase from the year before.
At the time, Credit Suisse said it stood to save 150 million francs in the second half of the year by closing accounts in some market segments.
Pressure has increased on banks in recent years to help identify accounts linked to tax evasion, organised crime, high-level corruption or other wrongdoing, causing the cost of complying with regulatory procedures to rise sharply.