Credit Suisse's new Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam has signalled a strategy shake-up designed to focus on banking for the world's wealthy and away from riskier securities activities. As Hayley Platt reports the news follows higher than expected quarterly earnings.
It's the last set of results under the bank's old leadership and they're pretty good. Credit Suisse made 1.1 billion Swiss Francs or 1.15 billion dollars in the second quarter. That compares to a loss for the same period the previous year. Switzerland's second-largest bank put it down to reductions in its investment banking business. And a strong performance in Asia. Not a bad start for new chief Tidjane Thaim. But three weeks in the job and he's already planning a major strategy shake-up. JP Morgan's David Stubbs. SOUNDBITE: David Stubbs, Global Market Strategist, JP Morgan, saying (English): "I think finance companies generally are looking to move away from more riskier lending practices and target richer clients with more money to manage and to operate with." Shares rose more than 3 percent. But the bank's fixed-income securities, currencies and commodities business was hit by continued uncertainty over Greece. And the timing of a long-awaited U.S. interest rate rise. Credit Suisse's new strategy is expected to push more resources into its Asian wealth management business and scale back investment banking. SOUNDBITE: David Stubbs, JP Morgan, saying (English): "If your peers are choosing or even being forced to sell off your key assets in the target region of yours, it's probably a decent time to pick up capacity in those areas." Asia is the world's fastest-growing private banking market thanks to China's economy. 1 million new millionaire households were created in China last year, bringing the total to 4 million - that's just three million behind the U.S. The bank is expected to shed more light on its expansion plans later this year.